The summer vacations in the late 80’s and early 90’s; those two months of gratification; of delight; of glee, nothing can beat those two months. Nothing.
Summer vacations meant Enid Blyton; summer vacations meant Tinkle and Chacha Chaudhury; summer vacations meant afternoons spent on the staircase landing playing MAD and Monopoly; summer vacations meant mangoes and pav bhaaji parties; summer vacations meant watching rented VCR cassettes and summer vacations meant Rasna.
Every time the television would be switched on to watch Baingan Raja or Giant Robot; Mahabharat or Chitrahaar; Sunday afternoon film or Vikram Betaal, I would invariably be greeted with the ‘I love you, Rasna’ advertisement. It was an advertisement that would entice me like no other. The Rasna girl and the appeal; the amazing colours of the liquid that made me salivate, it was all a WOW.
Rasna was one product my parent did not deprive me of; and making Rasna was a ritual that I handled single-handedly every summer.
Rasna would then come in a lovely tetra box. Inside was that nice little pouch and the finest of the lot was the tiny glass bottle with a red plastic sealed cover. I loved the glass bottle.
As a procedure on the first day of vacation in the evening I would be given water and sugar in a large saucepan. I would then stir and stir and stir the sugar water till the sugar dissolved to exquisite lucid syrup. Then in went the orange powder. (I always preferred the orange flavour) It dissolved into the translucent syrup gradually leisurely turning it into a light lovely orange.
Then, came the paramount moment of opening up the tiny bottle; the red seal would be broken with the help of a knife delicately, dexterously; with lot of precision; and the dark orange liquid would be poured slowly into the potion. The whole concoction would turn into a lovely bright orange that of the setting sun. The brew would be then poured with the help of a funnel into used glass bottles of kissan ketchup.
That would be my triumph moment.
And then, all through the vacation Rasna would be my drink. Someday it would be mixed with crushed ice. (Ice would be crushed by wrapping it in a cloth and beating it up like Obelix would beat up the Romans) Someday a regular cold drink to go with the pav bhaji parties. Someday frozen into steel glasses and made into popsicles. Rasna was always there, an integral part of the summer vacations.
I stopped drinking Rasna when it became the instant drink powder. It was no more fun. Nevertheless, I love you, Rasna.
I love using new stuff on my birthday and keeping up with the tradition I opened a new bottle of bodywash this morning; a gift from my sister Pooja. It’s got an orange aroma; an aroma that immediately reminded me of Rasna and summers and it made me beautifully nostalgic. Hence this is a reminiscence post.
Wow, two posts in a day. I am really taking my birthday resolution way more seriously than I should. :D