The summer drink of the East

BY SUMAYYA JAMIL. LONDON. UNITED KINGDOM. HEART IN PAKISTAN

RoohAfza

Heat parched lips. Desert dry eyes. Sun baked head. All one needed was respite from the relentless sun and a day of abstinence from all things edible and drinkable. Ramadan in 40 degree heat was a test of one’s faith, endurance and threshold of thirst, much more than hunger. The test being the intense desire to let one cold drop of water slide down your leather dry throat. From sunset to dusk was the challenge under a sun that beamed with a glittering smile of intense humid salty sea laden Karachi heat.

At last, sunset would approach, with its balmy sea breeze, cooling moist air; glowing orange sun in the clear Arabian sea horizon – you knew the time was near. Was I in need of something to chew – No. My only thought would linger at the glimpse of the dewy pitcher of sometimes faint and other times saccharin red translucent sherbet that would tease in ice frosted glasses adorned with bright green mint and tangy lime slices; it’s intensely synthetic, yet authentically floral aroma gracing the dining room – I sat with bated breath. Visions of icy cold Rooh Afza touching my lips made the last few moments before the siren boomed, pass a bit faster. As it caressed my lips, the cold nectar slid down my throat faster than I had time to savour it’s sweet petal-like flavour – There was no doubt. Nothing quite quenched a thirst better than this, the  Summer Drink of the East.

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