Friday, December 01, 2006


Candy is the Friday word as decreed by Mona. The idea to those of you not familiar with it is to do a post using that word in your post as a poem, a picture, a story or anything else that floats your boat.

For me a lot of things came to mind when I think of candy a few of them are here..

Cotton Candy/Candy Floss..

This has memories for me as kid growing up in that megapolis that they now call Mumbai, but for me remains Bombay. My dad worked for the Indian Railways and we lived in staff housing right next to a street close to a train station. The street was frequented by a medley of vendors hawking their wares. Mostly an assortment of snacks, one of which was a cotton candy vendor.

For a while my folks were pretty strict about me not being allowed to eat from these vendors esp the cotton candy. Too much sugar is bad for your teeth and it may be unhygienic and so on.
I used to just be able to watch from my perch in the 4th floor window looking down longingly at the other kids flock to the guy.

Most days he would carry the candy in a square box which would be on his shoulder with the help of a strap. The box had metal frames and the four sides were all glass. In their would be cotton candy that too me seemed shockingly pink or a light mellow yellow and occasionally white.
The candy was usually in the form of a fluffy cotton ball the size of a tennis ball.
The kids would crowd the guy eyes eager, hands stretched out holding coins with the usual noise that accompanies excited kids.

No surprise that the candy was devoured in no time. The Hindi term for cotton candy then at least in the world I inhabited was "Buddhi Ke Baal" which translates to an old woman's hair. Well thats what it looked like right?

For the longest time I had no clue how it was made. Then one day I saw this guy.. a different vendor come to our neighborhood. He was like a lot of vendors do, rolling along a rickety wooden cart with some cotton candy on it. But he had this other contraption on it. It was a round metal bucket that had a round head in the middle with a hole on top. I convinced my mom to let me go see what he would do. I saw him pour some sugar and this gaudy pink food color in the contraption. He then started the machine and the head started to rotate and out came out these thin pink fibers in the metal bucket. He would scoop them up with a stick and roll them into these tempting creations. To me this whole process was magical. A techie explanation of this process is here. It was also the first day I got to eat cotton candy.

The machine looks a bit like the one below.

Ahh memories..

My other associations with these words are..

I love cotton candy flavored jelly beans..I love jelly beans period..

I hate Candy apples.

I dislike CNN's Candy Crowley. Here are a few reasons why...

CNN's Crowley suggested Kerry's choice of green tea proves he is out of touch with "most of America"
Tuesday, November 16, 2004 4:04PM

CNN's Crowley falsely claimed Reagan's final approval ratings were higher than Clinton's This article has video.
Tuesday, November 1, 2005 4:45PM

CNN's Crowley asked Shuler if he is "a Nancy Pelosi Democrat," but CNN has yet to ask Republicans if they are "Denny Hastert [or George Bush or Dick Cheney] Republicans" This article has video.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006 8:32PM

CNN's Crowley dredges up anti-Democrat clichés, asserts: "If Democrats do sweep into power this year ... it will be through no fault their own" This article has video.
Friday, October 20, 2006 7:54PM

Liberal media? Not so fast!


Gangadhar said...

that's a lovely candy story Sanjay..Your post rings my childhood memories too..
Nice info here too..thanks..

Sai said...

That is such a lovely story. Hmm my parents were pretty similar to yours regarding eating at the road-side stalls and were so finicky about hygiene. My first sign of rebellion was to eat at the bhel, pav bhaji and kala khatta stalls near VT Station when I started college :-D

Sanjay said...

@Ganga ..thanks man.

@Sai.. Bhel, Pav Bhaji.. Damn it Sai you are making me hungry! :)

Mona Buonanotte said...

Candy Crowley needs some sweetening up, I think....

I remember cotton candy at the county fair, the smell of burnt sugar...oh yeah, great childhood memory!

Dan said...

Dude, I'll take your word for it that this gizmo makes cotton candy. But I have to honest and tell you that I'm not going near that thing ... at least not without full body armour. ;)

oldwhitelady said...

I liked your cotton candy story. When I was a kid, we would go to the fair, during the summer. They'd have vendors selling cotton candy. Oh, how I would have loved to have some, but, like your mother, mine didn't think all that sugar was good for kids (smart mothers!) anyway, I've since made up for the lack, once I became an adult. They now sell the stuff, packaged, at many stores.

Asha said...

Got the reader!! Thank you Sanju baba:)Don't know what relief it brought me,was spending hrs searching for new posts.Phew!!

Love your candy story and that candy machine! Wish I had one,I could spin something nice and colorful:)

Sai said it's called 'Buddi ka Baal'..LOL

Sanjay said...

lol@Dan.. I did nto know candy floss scared ya so much ;)

@owl..:) I have made up for it too and continue to do so. I can go thru a huge jar of jelly beans ( the ones you get at Costco) in a week, that and I east each jelly bean one at a time.

@Asha.. Yay on you gettting the reader.
Glad you liked the story too. :)

Sanjay said...

@Mona.. If you have seen Candy Crowley, she looks as is she has been having wayy too much sugar.

Shruti said...

Thats a nice blog... reminded me of candyfloss-wallah... the pic of the machine is too grand for what the bhaiya used to get huh :)

Lucia said...

Love the reminiscences of kiddiehood in Mumbai! (Been ODing on Bollywood videos in Nepal, so been thinkin' about Mumbai lately anyway.)

Sanjay said...

@Shruti. Thanks. The vendor had an archaic version of what you see in the picture.

@Lucia.. Hey there. How is Bangkok? Bollywood videos.. sounds like fun. :)

Diana said...

See, I always learn something from your blog. Always wondered how the stuff was made. 'Old woman's hair', indeed.

Sanjay said...

Diana.. Merci! Your are being way to generous here. :)

Maggie said...

I loved this post too. Cotton candy was one of my favorite things I wasn't allowed to have either! I loved watching the cotton candy man making it at the fair and weaving it onto the little paper cups.

meno said...

I made cotton candy once using one of those machines at a local carnival. I went home at the end of the day covered with a spider's web of sugar. i wanted to eat my sweater.

Teri said...

It is really fun to watch cotton candy being made! It's also best when it's fresh and still warm.


priya said...

I love cotton candy. I never miss when I see it even now.

moegirl said...

I like the Candy story. I think cotton candy would sell better if it was called "spun sugar" which is what my grandma called it.