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The Ice Lolly of Mumbai - The Gola

Updated on May 4, 2019
The Mumbai Golawalla on his 4 wheeler cart
The Mumbai Golawalla on his 4 wheeler cart | Source

The gola of Mumbai

A gola is an artistic ovoid of ice crystals steeped in flavorful syrup. the person who vends out theses golas is the "golaywalla". In the city of Mumbai where every migrant looks out for innovative ways to find a means of survival the gola is a unique feature of the city. It is almost impossible not to find a Mumbai Golaywalla in the landscape of any Mumbai school.

The Golewalla can be recognized from his four wheeled trolley cart that he hand pushes and docks in each morning. He gets ready with his slabs of ice stored under gunny bags well insulated with saw dust. He cleans each slab of ice with water. Then he breaks it into smaller pieces before he inserts it into his hand operated ice crushing machine.

With his palm held firmly under the machine he collects his crushed ice shavings and wraps it around a wooden stick before it gets patted to the shape of an ovoid. Then according to customer demand he swirls colorlful 'sherbets' over the ice gola. A brilliant orange is orange flavoured, black is the Kala khatta, green is raw mango, yellow is lemon, red for raspberry and the colors and flavors tantamount to atleast 15 bottles lined up in a hedge like manner around his work space. He attracts his youngest customer with the lure of a colorful display of different colored bottled syrup escalating the surprise when he hands these multicolored and flavored balls of shaved ice on wooden sticks.

As an additional perk, he can give you a glass to place hold your gola when the tongue gets benumbed by the icy gola.

The sheer joy of sucking flavorful syrup through a ball of shaved ice is exhilirating !

Three cheers to the Mumbai golaywalla who brings in a draft of coolness during the hot summers of the tropics!


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