Remember “Pepsi Cola”?? If you were a kid in India in the 80s, I’m sure this weird term brought back fond memories
Pepsicola – Image source: mehtaworld.wordpress.com
For the uninitiated, it was neither Pepsi nor Coca Cola. They were these deliciously icy sticks available in various eye catching colours and myriad flavours, all 100% artificial, I assure you. The ones made with water were 25-50 paise a stick and the one made with milk were 50 paise – 1 Rupee, depending on whether you got a half sized one or a tall one. It was nothing but a slim pencil like plastic casing filled with liquid and kept frozen, so it could be eaten like a portable popsicle without the worry of the melting ice spilling on you. The melted remains inside the plastic case were slurped up in the end. Walking back from the school to the public transport bus stand in the hot afternoon sun, this was something to look forward to.
It was always had on the sly as my grandpa would never approve me eating foods whose hygiene standards were quite suspect. Also, any cough or cold I’d fall prey to, would be instantly blamed on the cold stuff eaten, so I had to keep my affair with Pepsi cola a secret. What started in high school last well into junior college days. Conveniently, there would always be a mom and pop kinda store selling these cheap treats near every school and college, fully knowing the lure they were presenting to their young target audience. Oh yeah, we did ‘graduate’ to 2 rupee a piece stick kulfi in the later years, and ‘pepsi colas’ became a forgotten thing, that had provided some sweet excitement to those hot summer days
A few days ago when my son said he wants to make popsicle with milk and his regular malt, my childhood love of all things icy came back to me. Freezing anything in childhood, even a cube of ice was something fraught with much fascination and naughtiness. Forbidden fruit and all that. So when he said he wanted to mix LOTS of Bournvita into milk and pour into molds* and make popsicles, I felt like a kid myself!
The idea is my son’s, who will turn 6 shortly. He did confess that the idea was not entirely his own and that he had watched this in an ad on TV. Do we see a pattern here? His instructions to me were – “Take some milk, mix in 4 BIG spoons of Bournvita and pour into popsicle molds. We’ll eat it once it is frozen.”
If your kid is not a fan of milk, trust me, you will see them slurping these popsicles with no further nudging!