Delhiwale: The History of the Sorbet Stall | Latest Delhi News
He’s there, still all smiles – at least it seems, because he’s masked. He survived both outbreaks of the coronavirus pandemic. He is the face of a long standing institution in Old Delhi.
Nafees Khan runs a sorbet stand in the Gali Suiwallan district of Old Delhi. It’s such a modest landmark that when he packs his things for the night, there is no trace of the stall, as if it never had been. And yet, it’s such a part of the daytime landscape that not finding Mr. Khan would be like living in a world suddenly deprived of a beloved friend.
“I stayed at home during the lockdown… I survived by borrowing money from friends,” he says, insisting he has no complaints about his situation. “Everyone is suffering from their businesses these days. “
Mr. Khan’s juice stand is only available for the summer. By the end of winter, he finished selling diapers and transformed his street establishment into what his late father founded decades ago: a sherbet stand.
There is only beautiful, or wood apple, sorbet here. Watching the man is as calming as soaking his glass. He sits as still as a statue, which makes him look like a hallucination – as the rest of the street is a maddening blur of pedestrians and rickshaws.
The stall consists of a table with a large saucepan filled with sorbet. “My daddy, Hakeemuddin, started decades ago… he used to sit in the same place.”
The sorbet is kept cold with sheets of ice that rise up like icebergs in the sea. In the evening, market lights shine on the still surface of the sorbet. Inevitably, the sherbet vendor stirs the liquid at one point, instantly destroying the world in it.
On this humid afternoon, masked shoppers stop by the stand, clamoring for a glass of cold drink. Life seems to unfold as if the tragedies associated with the pandemic are just one stroke in the history of the sherbet stand.
Previously it was open until after midnight, but now, according to the new regulations, it closes at 8 a.m.