Avoid These Mistakes On Your First Date

It’s all too easy to be discouraged and make certain mistakes in a hurry when one faces trouble in finding a connection. No pressure, but the first impression your date will have of you will largely be based on how that first meet goes.

Although any initial encounter can be awkward, especially if you don’t know much about the other person. But it doesn’t always have to be that way, no matter what you’re looking for in them, be it a serious relationship or just a casual fling.

It’s important to come prepared with a general understanding of what is acceptable and appropriate for the first date, and what isn’t. Ultimately, it comes down to the impressions we leave on the other person.

How you act on the first date depends on how you feel about the person you’re going out with.

Imagine, everything is going great on the first date. Your conversation is flowing naturally, the mutual attraction seems undeniable, and you immediately decide that you want to hang out again.

If you really like the person you’re going out with and want to be in the above-described setting, then it’s in your best interest to avoid the following common mistakes that people tend to make on their first dates.

Neglecting your appearance

Even though the saying goes, don’t judge a book by its cover and that people should focus on inner beauty, personality traits rather than the way we look, however, in this particular setting that would be crap advice.

We draw a lot of conclusions about a person within just seconds of meeting them solely based on outward appearance. In those few seconds, the other person looks at you, they’ve already sized you up. Hence, it goes without saying, personal hygiene and a polished outfit are very important. The way we present ourselves tells a lot about our style, confidence and personal preferences.

Looking good for your date shows that you think that the other person is worth the time and effort. It also projects that you take pride in your appearance. Most women find a well-dressed man sexy and desirable.

Controversial topics like politics

While it’s absolutely fine to mention that you really love politics, if you do, also completely avoid expressing your strong left or right-wing leanings on the first date. It might come across as incredibly blunt and possibly offensive if your date is not on the same side of the spectrum.

Remember you are on a date and not a battleground. However, if there is a difference of opinion, stir the conversation on a lighter subject, where both of you don’t have to carry on with the ‘let’s agree to disagree’ motion.

Checking out other girls

If you’re on a date with a particular girl, then other women should not exist for you. Don’t openly flirt with the restaurant’s receptionist, don’t size up or follow other girls with your eyes. None of that stuff.

Even if you have a habit of normally doing it uncontrollably, try as hard as you can to focus on your companion only. Otherwise, a second date may not follow.

That said, if you do talk to other women and have a conversation in general, then at all costs avoid flirting openly in front of her in a blatant manner because that shows huge disrespect towards the person you are with.

Dominating a conversation

Your conversation should not be in the format of a monologue, it should be a dialogue. Of course, you would want to present yourself in the best way while advertising all your merits, but keep it moderate. It should be like a ping-pong game; you pass on some interesting stuff about your personality, experiences, and exchange questions. Then she does the same.

The best strategy is to tell the other person some facts regarding you, then ask them about the same thing or something related to it. When they reply, find something interesting they’ve mentioned and then ask about that. This technique will help you out in keeping that conversational wheel rolling.

Also, try not to ask too many questions at once in a rapid-fire way in order not to turn your date into an interview or interrogation. You should feel comfortable talking to each other, it shouldn’t be forced.

Criticizing her tastes

Let’s just assume your date is into pop music while you’re an old punk rock fan. Don’t comment on their music tastes in any negative way as your task is to have a good time, not to repel them away. If you don’t like their preference in music, you can simply say that you’re not really a fan of it and leave it at that.

There is no need to rant about how their style of music is bad and give them 10 reasons why. Then compare it to your type of music and explain to them why it’s superior. That just shows you’re an egomaniac who has no empathy and disregards others around them.

All people are different and you have no right to criticize other people’s tastes or choices. You’re free to simply say that you like or dislike something though. In fact, be honest about that and don’t feign interest in the things she likes just to try to impress her as women can find that a massively unattractive quality.

Not being a gentleman

Do you know what never goes out of style? It’s the gentleman’s way, as women love to be treated in a certain manner. So, if you’re wondering what that exactly is, then in the dating context it simply implies that your actions should always be respectful, polite and considerate.

This can mean opening doors for her, pulling up her seat before she sits down or if she’s cold, offer your coat and if she’s comfortable, drape it over her shoulders.

Not a lot of men do these things nowadays, but if you treat a lady this way, you’ll immediately stand out among a sea of men trying to grab her attention. You’ll have something over the competition, the ace of spades.

Though many might not admit it, most men have screwed up more dates than they care to remember in the pursuit of getting some action on the first meet. Thus, here’s a bonus piece of advice. Trying to score on your first date is never a good idea unless both the parties have different kinds of arrangements and have plans of seeing each other again.

All in all, first dates are really just about sparking curiosity, creating good vibes and presenting yourself in the best possible light. If you come across as an interesting and a really nice person, nine times out of ten, the other person will want to see you again.

Now you understand what the most common mistakes on a first date are and how you can avoid them. They’re nothing mind-blowing but too many people don’t realize these simple things and ruin the date before it can even go anywhere.

Also, if even after all the cautions the first date does go wrong, then don’t worry, it happens to the best of us cause not every date can be perfect. Sometimes the worst times are disguised life lessons that will prepare you for future opportunities. (ANI)

Pakistan Prime Minister

Won’t Resign, Will Fight Till Last Ball: Imran To Pakistan

As the Opposition continues to mount pressure on the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government ahead of voting on the no-confidence motion, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday refused to resign saying that he will play till the last ball.

In his address to the nation on Thursday, Imran Khan said that he won’t resign while saying that the rebelling legislators from his party have sold their conscience.

“Somebody asked me to resign. I will resign? I have played cricket for 20 years, and I play till the last ball. I have never given up in my life,” Imran Khan said, adding, “You will see that I will emerge stronger after the vote (on no-confidence), no matter what the result of the vote is.”

He further said that the vote on the no-confidence motion against his ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government will take place on Sunday (April 3).

“I want the country to see (on the day of the no-confidence vote) that who all will sell their conscience over there,” Khan said referring to the rebel legislators from his party.

“If somebody had found a fault with me, they should have resigned then… not now when they are being offered 20-25 crore… it’s happening in front of everybody,” he further said.

Imran Khan is in a precarious position, with the no-confidence motion against him tabled in the parliament and the voting on the motion expected on April 3.

The ruling PTI coalition effectively became a minority government on Wednesday when one of the key allies Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan (MQM-P) quit and joined ranks with the Opposition.

In a ‘power show’ rally in Islamabad on March 27, Imran Khan had brandished a letter, saying that the letter contained the ‘proof’ that he was being threatened by ‘foreign elements’ who seek to topple his government.

He talked about the foreign conspiracy angle at length in his address to the nation, saying that “a foreign nation sent a message to us (Pakistan) that Imran Khan needs to be removed else Pakistan will suffer consequences.”

Playing the victim card, he targeted the US for the crisis in Pakistan and said that the foreign policy of Pakistan is determined by the US.

He said that many Pakistanis have lost their lives in the fight against terror, but the US never thanked them. In fact, he said that the US blamed them for their failure in Afghanistan.

The Pakistani National Assembly has a total strength of 342 members, with the majority mark being 172. The PTI led coalition was formed with the support of 179 members, with Imran Khan’s PTI having 155 members, and four major allies MQM-P, Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), Balochistan Awami Party (BAP) and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA) having seven, five, five and three members respectively.

Imran Khan faces imminent ouster given that three of the four allies– MQM-P, PML-Q, and BAP– have now stated their support for the Opposition’s no-confidence motion and said that they will vote accordingly.

In addition, more than 40 of the ruling PTI’s legislators disappeared on the day of the session of the National Assembly on no-confidence on March 25.

The Opposition parties in Pakistan on the other hand hold the support of 162 members of the house and are expected to be joined by the three ruling coalition parties during the vote, helping them cross the majority mark, with 179 members supporting the no-confidence motion.

The no-confidence motion was tabled in the house on March 28 with the support of 161 members of the house. (ANI)

Russian Foreign Minister Arrives In India Amid Ukraine War

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has arrived in New Delhi on the first high-level visit by a Russian leader to India since Moscow’s war against Ukraine which began last month.

“Welcoming the Foreign Minister of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov as he arrives in New Delhi for an official visit,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said in a tweet.

Lavrov, who arrived on Thursday on a two-day official visit, is expected to meet and hold talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Friday.

The Russian Foreign Minister reached New Delhi after his two-day visit to China.

New Delhi has seen a flurry of visits by foreign leaders over the past fortnight. China’s foreign minister Wang Yi had visited India last week.

Russian Foreign Minister this week participated in two multinational meetings on Afghanistan along with representatives from Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Lavrov also held meetings with representatives from China and Pakistan and attended a separate meeting of the “Extended Troika” with special Afghan envoys from China and the US. (ANI)

Delhi Likely To Scrap Fine For Not Wearing Face Mask

In a meeting of the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA), a consensus was made to scrap the imposing of fines for not wearing masks and the penalisation is likely to be done away with, said sources.

In the last DDMA meeting, the fine for not wearing masks was reduced to Rs 500 from Rs 2,000.

The Delhi government in its earlier order issued in February withdrew the compulsion of wearing a mask in a private car. In early February, the COVID-19 restriction was relaxed when solo drivers were given exemption from wearing the mask inside the car.

Notably, the daily COVID-19 infection in Delhi has witnessed a declining trend. Delhi on Wednesday reported 123 new COVID-19 cases and one death with a daily positivity rate of 0.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, Maharashtra has exempted people from wearing masks in all public places.

Maharashtra Minister Jitendra Awhad on Thursday tweeted that the state cabinet decides to lift all the existing COVID-19 restrictions in the state. Now all festivals can be celebrated enthusiastically, wearing masks will be compulsory, he said. (ANI)

India To Donate 10,000 Tonnes Of Wheat To Afghanistan

India has signed the second agreement with the United Nations’ World Food Programme (WFP) under which it will donate another 10,000 metric tons of wheat to Afghanistan.

“Government of India and the United Nations World Food Program signed the second ‘In-kind Contribution Agreement between the Government of the Republic of India and WFP for the donation of next batch of 10,000 MTs of wheat to the People of Afghanistan,” the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said.

India intends to provide Afghanistan with a total of 50,000 tonnes of wheat.

“As of now, the first tranche of 10,000 MTs of wheat has been successfully delivered to Afghanistan and delivery of the next batch of 10,000 MTs of wheat is in the process,” MEA added.

Taliban seized power in Afghanistan last August that led caused economic disarray and food shortages that have pushed the country to the brink of a humanitarian crisis.

Last week, V Muraleedharan, Minister of State for External Affairs said India has historical and civilizational ties with Afghanistan. India’s development partnership with Afghanistan included projects spread across each of the 34 provinces of the country in critical areas such as power, water supply, road connectivity, health care, education, agriculture and capacity building.

“In the last two years, India has contributed to the humanitarian requirements of the people of Afghan. This includes 75,000 MTs of wheat (2020), COVID related medical supplies (June 2020) and 500,000 doses of COVID vaccine (January 2021),” he added. (ANI)

Maharashtra Lifts All Covid Curbs From April 2, Mask Not Mandatory

The Maharashtra Government on Thursday announced that all COVID-19 related restrictions including the wearing of masks in public places will be withdrawn from Saturday.

“We will withdraw all the COVID-19 related restrictions from the state from Gudi Padwa. The decision has been taken today in the cabinet meeting. An order will be issued for the same. We will withdraw the order which made it mandatory to wear a mask,” said Health Minister Rajesh Tope after the cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray.

Chief Minister Thackeray said that the Gudi Padwa festival marks the new year.

“All COVID restrictions in Maharashtra will be lifted, as we bring in the new year this Gudi Padwa!” tweeted the Chief Minister.

The Disaster Management Act as well as the Infectious Diseases Prevention Act which were invoked with the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic will be withdrawn.

“Restrictions like 50 per cent capacity in buses, restaurants and cinema theatres, double vaccination compulsion in travel and buses will be withdrawn,” said Tope.

However, the Health Minister advised the citizens to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour.

The Health Minister cited the decline in daily COVID-19 cases and positivity rate as the reason behind withdrawing the restrictions.

Maharashtra on Thursday reported 183 fresh COVID-19 cases, taking the number of active cases to 902.

One fatality was reported in the last 24 hours, as per the bulletin released on Thursday.

Meanwhile, India logged 1,233 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours, Union Health Ministry informed on Wednesday.

In the last 24 hours, as per the Ministry, 1,876 recoveries were also reported. With total recoveries since the beginning of the COVID pandemic at 4,24,87,410, the recovery rate of India presently stands at 98.75 per cent. (ANI)

Centre To Withdraw AFSPA From Several Areas In Northeast

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Thursday announced that the Central government has decided to reduce disturbed areas under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades.

“In a significant step, Government of India under the decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has decided to reduce disturbed areas under Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) in the states of Nagaland, Assam and Manipur after decades,” Shah made the announcement through a series of tweets.

Reduction in areas under AFSPA was a result of the improved security situation and fast-tracked development due to the consistent efforts and several agreements to end insurgency and bring lasting peace in North East by PM Narendra Modi government, said the Home Minister.

“Thanks to PM Narendra Modi Ji’s unwavering commitment, our North-Eastern region, which was neglected for decades, is now witnessing a new era of peace, prosperity and unprecedented development.”

The Home Minister further congratulated the people of North East on this momentous occasion.

Meanwhile, officials in the Ministry of Home Affairs clarified that the Centre’s decision will considerably reduce areas under AFSPA with effect from April 1. However, the officials also made it clear that AFSPA has not been completely removed.

Disturbed area notification is in force in the whole of Assam since 1990. With the step, the officials said, 23 districts of Assam are now being removed completely and one district partially from the effect of AFSPA with effect from April 1.

The Disturbed Area Declaration in the entire Manipur (except the Imphal Municipality area) is in operation since 2004. Taking important steps under the leadership of PM Narendra Modi, the officials said 15 police station areas of six districts are being excluded from disturbed area notification with effect from April 1.

The disturbed area notification is in force in the whole of Nagaland from the year 1995. The Central government has accepted the recommendation of the committee constituted in this regard to remove AFSPA in a phased manner. Disturbed area notification is being removed from 15 police stations in seven districts in Nagaland with effect from April 1, added the officials.

In a note, the Home Ministry said Prime Minister Narendra Modi is determined to make the entire North-East region extremist-free, and in this regard, the Central government has been interacting with the state governments and other stakeholders from time to time.

The disturbed area notification under AFSPA has been completely removed by the Modi government from Tripura in 2015 and Meghalaya in 2018 due to improvements in the security situation.

The AFSPA empowers security forces to conduct operations anywhere and arrest anyone without any prior warrant. In 2005, the Justice Jeevan Reddy Committee had recommended the repeal of AFSPA and suggested an amendment to the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), 1967 by inserting a new Chapter with respect to the North-Eastern states. (ANI)

Sensex Closes 115 Points Down; RIL, Wipro, Infosys Slump

Snapping three days of rally, the Indian equities markets benchmark Sensex closed 115 points down on Thursday dragged by selling pressure in Reliance Industries and some IT stocks.

The 30 stock S&P BSE Sensex closed 115.48 points or 0.20 per cent down at 58,568.51 points against its previous day’s close at 58,683.99 points.

The markets witnessed volatile trading. The Sensex started the day in the positive at 58,779.71 points and surged to a high of 58,890.92 points in the intra-day.

The Sensex has closed in the red first time in four trading sessions. The index had gained 740.34 points or 1.28 per cent on Wednesday.

The broader Nifty 50 of the National Stock Exchange closed 33.50 points or 0.19 per cent down at 17,464.75 points against its previous day’s close at 17,498.25 points.

Earlier, the Nifty opened in the positive at 17,519.20 points and rose to a high of 17,559.80 points in the intra-day.

The Nifty had gained 172.95 points or 1 per cent on Wednesday.

The index heavyweight Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) slipped 1.46 per cent to Rs 2633.95. It was the biggest drag on the Sensex and Nifty.

Wipro slumped 1.44 per cent to Rs 592. Infosys fell 0.55 per cent to Rs 1907.20. HCL Technologies closed 0.23 per cent down at Rs 1163.35.

Mahindra & Mahindra 1.95 per cent higher at Rs 808.60; Hindustan Unilever 1.66 per cent higher at Rs 2048.85; Axis Bank 1.39 per cent higher at Rs 760.65; IndusInd Bank 0.93 per cent higher at Rs 935.10; and Bharti Airtel 0.80 per cent higher at Rs 755.40 were among the major Sensex gainers. (ANI)

Buffoons imran

Imran Khan Makes Desperate Efforts To Save His Chair

Desperate times call for desperate moves. That is the single point agenda for Prime Minister Imran Khan who is seeing his chair slipping away from him with each passing day. Knowing that he is likely to go down soon, PM Khan has been making last-ditch attempts to remain in power.

The former Pakistan cricket captain has taken recourse to a range of stratagems from praising India for its independent foreign policy and claiming that the no-confidence motion was an international conspiracy to unseat him.

With the voting on the no-confidence motion tabled by the combined opposition due on April 4, the question uppermost on the minds of most Pakistanis is: Will Imran Khan hand in his resignation before the vote?

Reports indicate that both Army Chief General Qamar Bajwa and ISI Chief Lt Gen Hameed told Imran Khan to hand in his resignation before the OIC Conference in Islamabad on 23 March. But Imran Khan continues to make last-ditch attempts to remain in office.

The Opposition had tabled the no-confidence motion and the same was to have been taken up on 25 March. This was postponed by a few days on account of the death of a Member of the National Assembly(MNA). One of the things PM Khan has done in the run-up to the vote in the National Assembly is to replace Punjab Chief Minister Buzdar.

This step could have been done earlier when PTI party members in Punjab turned against Imran Khan. When it comes to survival, Imran Khan acted speedily, replacing Buzdar with PML-Q’s Pervez Elahi. Better late than never! What this has achieved for Imran Khan is the renewed support of the PML-Q.

Meanwhile, Imran Khan received a massive blow when the PTI lost the majority in the National Assembly after losing its key ally in the coalition Muttahida Qaumi Movement Pakistan (MQM-P). The MQM announced (March 30) it had struck a deal with the opposition Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and would support the no-trust vote.

This means that PTI has only 155 members in the 342-member National Assembly. The government’s survival is dependent on the support of allies such as MQM-P (7 seats), BAP (5 seats), PML(Q) (5 seats), GDA (3 seats), AML (1 seat), JWP (1 seat) and two independents.

As the PTI knows it may not have the numbers, its leaders have been trying to convince its ally MQM-P not to join the opposition! On the other hand, Imran Khan has approached the Courts seeking a lifetime ban for those PTI party members who vote against him.

However, this is not likely to save the PM from getting the axe. A few weeks earlier, PM Imran Khan had profusely praised India for its independent foreign policy.

Pakistani media reports in the last few weeks had been claiming that the Army had taken a “neutral” stand on the political crisis, regarding Imran Khan and the opposition. This, however, was probably a canard spread by the ISI.

The Pakistan Army has for some time now felt that Imran Khan is a liability and therefore, needs to be eased out. The two-fold challenge here is, first to get the opposition together and second was to find a successor for Imran Khan.

The Army may have wanted to wait till 2023 when general elections are due, but Imran Khan had proved that he was too intransigent to be allowed to continue.

Therefore, the Pakistan Army concluded that political turmoil in the country is not good and hence sought Imran Khan’s resignation as early as possible. The no-confidence vote is expected to take place on April 4 now, provided the motion is admitted by the Speaker.

As the moment for the no-trust vote against the PTI government inches closer, Prime Minister Imran Khan made yet another desperate appeal, asking the MNAs to not fall for the “international conspiracy designed to derail Pakistan.”

Repeating his oft used foreign conspiracy charge, Imran Khan, alleged that the no-confidence motion was a crisis imported from abroad. He claimed to have a letter to prove that the no-trust vote was a plot to topple his government from abroad.

One wonders if his target is Nawaz Sharif, a PML-N leader who is almost permanently stationed in London. Be that as it may, Imran Khan’s actions unified a disparate opposition that till date has been unable to decide on a Prime Ministerial candidate.

When Imran Khan waved the purported secret letter during a rally (March 27), its contents were unclear. Now, with the document having been shared with the Pak media, it is possible to state that the letter was a communication from the Pakistani Ambassador in the US to the Pak Foreign Office.

Apparently, during a recent meeting of Embassy officials with their US counterparts, the latter expressed their unhappiness with Pakistan’s stand on Ukraine and PM Khan’s Moscow visit. The US official reportedly told Pakistan, “We aren’t happy with this (Imran Khan’s Moscow visit), a vote of confidence is coming and if that succeeds all mistakes of Pakistan will be forgiven; otherwise Pakistan has to face dire consequences.”

Zahid Hussain, writing in the Dawn newspaper (30 March) aptly sums up the current political crisis as “a free play of political opportunists, fortune seekers and self-important hangers-on”.

The notable point he makes is that Imran Khan, desperate as he is, has lost the moral high ground he had when he took the oath of office. Today, he is acting like any other politician and is involved in wheeling and dealing, which he has often accused the opposition of indulging in.

That Imran Khan has touched a new low in this regard became apparent from remarks made by the Chief Justice of Pakistan, Umar Ata Bandial recently.

He asked political leaders to refrain from dragging the judges into politics. His remarks came as PM Imran Khan, while addressing a public gathering in Kamalia had said that PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif was trying to woo judges against his government.

The Chief Justice, therefore, spoke his mind, during the hearing of a presidential reference seeking the Supreme Court’s opinion on Article 63-A of the Constitution and a petition of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA) on political rallies in Islamabad. Prior to the start of the hearing, CJ Bandial said they could not stop political parties from issuing political statements but said the parties should not try to influence the Court through their statements.

The end-game is near. The writing has been on the wall for quite some time now. The question was when? Imran Khan is desperate and desperation leads to more mistakes.

Dignity requires that he hands in his resignation immediately and not wait for the trust vote so that new political formulations can come into play. Of course, elections could well be declared soon instead of waiting till 2023. Ultimately, though the winner in this cat and mouse game is Pakistan. (ANI)

The Cold War Over Frozen Desserts

For almost five hundred years Indians have chilled out with Kulfi in the summer season. Legend has it that the frozen dessert was created to please Emperor Akbar and the recipe is mentioned in contemporary texts like Ain e Akbari and Akbarnama that describe a relay race conducted by expert riders to bring slabs of ice from Chur Chandra Dhaar in present-day Himachal Pradesh to the imperial Capitals- Delhi and Agra.

However, it seems more reasonable to agree with the view that the coolant was born in Iran (aka Persia). The word Kulfi is of Persian origin and translates as a sealed/locked container. Kulfi is usually prepared by freezing condensed flavoured milk in tightly capped metal containers that are prised open to serve it. The Iranians are known to have mixed snow with sherbets and myriad fruit juices as early as the 6th century BCE. The cold confection travelled west with Greek and Arabs and spawned the palate-cleansing sorbet.

The Chinese prone to claiming priority of invention and creation of all things point to evidence of a kulfi like dish that was enjoyed more than five thousand years BCE. What is well documented is that Emperor Nero relished wine mixed with crushed ice/snow though his physicians didn’t approve of this practice. Later a Medici princess carried with her the recipe for cool desserts to England wherefrom the Quakers transported it to the New World. American presidents like George Washington and Benjamin Franklin consumed it in large quantities and also served it to their guests.

Though freezing is common in preparing ice creams, gelatos and kulfi the differences are significant. Kulfi is far denser as the milk used is not whisked to pump in the air. No stabilisers or preservatives etc are used. Nor can it be stated that the ‘ice cream’ made in a hand-churned wooden bucket inspired it. Much before the pushcarts introduced firangee ice creams or ice cream parlours opened in big cities countless cities and small towns had acquired a taste for kulfi.

Many cities in north India claim that they have the best kulfi in the land. In Delhi, Kurhemal in Chawari Bazar is the oldest shop (set up in 1906) specialising in kulfi and is famous for its fruit kulfis. The flesh of fruits like mangoes, pomegranates, guavas and apples is skilfully scooped out and refilled with kulfi prepared with it. The fruit retains its original shape and appearance. Roshan di Kulfi in Karol Bag dates back to early 1950s and is as famous for its kulfi as Chole-Bhature. Madhu Kulfi in Agra offers both matka and tinka kulfi and thanks to improved refrigeration and transportation now can be tasted as far away as Pithoragarh in Uttarakhand. Kanpur’s Badnaam kulfi unabashedly boasts of its addictive lure.

In past decades India has witnessed a churn in the ice cream business. Big international players have entered the market to swallow local brands like Kwality. Mother Dairy Amul and Vadilal continue to defend swadeshi turf. There are many regional niche players. Parsi Dairy in Mumbai, Natural and Havemor tonnage are just a few. In Tamil Nadu the legendary reputation of Dasprakasha chain owed a lot to its ice creams. The world of kulfi is also changing. Quite a few have branched out into ‘manufacturing’ (mass producing in a factory) popular kulfis as well as trying their hand at softies in a cone and even ice creams. The younger generation is opening branches and focusing on exports within India and to foreign countries.

Many talented chefs are concentrating on artisanal kulfi, experimenting with exotic ingredients like wasabi, green/blue tea, avocado and more. Some play around with cooling colours (shades of green, light pink and yellow) matching them with flavours recommended in Ayurveda for time tested cooling properties — sandal, mint, khus and rose petals.

Others have chosen the dairy-free vegan route. The health-conscious can opt for sugar free kulfi. Presentation is changing too. The frozen dessert doesn’t always appear on a bed of falooda (thick vermicelli) blushing pink after a generous splash of Rooh-afja. Some lighter than air frothy wispy confections like daulat ki chaat also known as nimish and makhan-malai, malaiyo earlier available only in winters have reincarnated as chilled dessert.

The battle lines are clearly drawn. Will ‘cool-cool, thandi-thandi‘ kulfi conquer the globe or lose its distinct identity as it imitates its distant Western cousins? How will this Cold War end? Certainly not with a thaw! In this instance permafrost will tickle the patron’s palate most.