I teach at a boarding school, where the happy Enid Blyton tuck-box has cheerfully been changed into a tuck-shop. The shop is open for about an hour in the evening, and children can go get all the unhealthy, delicious things that the school cannot morally serve as often as children want.
What makes me smile most of all is ice-cream, and the way children enjoy it, each child in a different way.
Every year, when we went to Bangalore for the summer, our grandparents gave us the money to buy something we wanted once in two or three days. My cousins had the terrible problem of deciding between two treats – cold drinks or ice-cream. For me, it was simple – ice-cream all the way.
It was a process.
My sister and I used to run across and buy two chocobars. Then, we would come back and take out our beloved square blue plates.
Then, we would open our chocobars and throw the plastic away.
Then came the truly delicious part. We would pull the chocolate off the ice-cream and eat the vanilla ice-cream first, saving the chocolate for the end.
Vanilla ice-cream over, the chocolate was on the plate. The first bit would be a piece – after that, it was just molten chocolate that we licked off the plate.
Mouths covered with ice-cream and chocolate. Chocolate on our noses and clothes sometimes. Amused exasperation from family. The summer was delightful!