Sunday, July 20, 2008

No Kulfi Allowed

On one of my daily walks down 37th Avenue, I noticed a sign on a shop window at JMD Mall declaring: No Food, No Drinks, No Kulfi.

Kulfi is a frozen Indian dessert, denser than Western ice cream and often flavored with saffron or cardamom. I wondered why it didn't fall under the broad "Food" category. And why had it been singled out among all other frozen treats? A Mister Softee truck often parked down the street, but no one had specifically banned his cones. Would salespeople overlook Popsicles? Perhaps I could saunter into a sari shop and slurp a snow cone with impunity, while my kulfi-licking neighbors were escorted off the premises.

Today I saw another sign with an anti-kulfi bias. Khan Electronics has taken the additional step of prohibiting gum chewing, but kulfi is at the top of their "No" list. Shopkeepers might soon lobby the mayor, and we'll find groups of kulfi eaters huddled outside storefronts, furtively lapping up their dessert before running errands. We'll sigh as we recall a New York that wasn't afraid of people dripping on the carpet and reminisce about the days when you could have your kulfi and eat it too.

photo by Adeet Deshmukh

2 comments:

Louts of the loggia said...

Some theories, not nec. mutually exclusive: 1) Kulfi is neither food nor drink, but dessert. 2) Kulfi starts out solid, but quickly turns liquid, hence is neither food nor drink. 3) The term 'kulfi' in this context, includes ice cream. 4) Grudge against the kulfi-walla.

It is in the nature of some to attempt to organize chaos. Perhaps things that don't make sense should be allowed to stand there quivering, even as it makes us slightly uncomfortable. For example, consider the clover...

Anonymous said...

No food, no drink, no Kulfi? If Kulfi's not food or drink, then what are we supposed to do with it??? I just ordered forty-five cases of the stuff for the upcoming NASCAR rally!

A-Ron