A: So, you going to visit Istanbul?
Maybe, I think so. I am banking on E. getting there, this summer. And then following along.
A: There was this Kulfi wallah near me.
A: Yeah, a few lanes down from us. He was famous, the best Kulfis you would ever eat. People would come from all over. He’d make a killing.
A: He died a few years back and his son, he inherited that business. He was some pink or red or some belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. Just this beautiful man – luminous face, this muscular structure. He would go to Landa Bazaar1 and buy the finest tweed suits, just molded to his biceps and walk around in them. All the time.
A: So when the father died, he had to inherit his business. He was the only one who knew how to make those amazing Kulfas. The only one. He would open the shop for a few hours and he would sell out. Open it a few days a week, and make lots of money. People just wanted to have that Kulfa. But he hated it. He wanted to be famous.
A: This was his CV: He acted in Lollywood – like Extras, you’d see him way in the back. He was in various body building or fighting competitions all the time. Didn’t speak a word of English but he had correspondents around the world – Paris, Madrid, London. He would just send the embassies his photos and his newsclippings. And they would send him stuff back. It was amazing. He hated going to the shop, opening it. But he had to because the people would give him so much money, so quickly.
A: He ran away with a girl. To Istanbul. Went and married her there. Then came back.
Did he leave her there?
A: No, no, he brought her back. But, now there are like 5 other Kulfa wallahs on that corner.
All claiming his father’s legacy?
A: Yeah. You should go to Istanbul.
*This conversation happened in Paratha Junction, Jersey City on Sun, Mar 28th, 2010. A. is my dearest friend since high school.———
- the third-hand clothes market [↩]