Sunday, August 21, 2016

For the love of Milkmaid.

As a child, I was enrolled in an all girls' Convent school, where we chanted Catholic prayers which basically were pleas to the Almighty to save us all evil like boys and nail polishes. This was a time before gadgets so the intimacy among friends was raw, unpretentious and one that assuredly grew stronger with time. We co-exist in harmony in a hyper-active Whatsapp group, the only group which is our support system, from which we don’t find reasons to exit. This is also the place we rant and pour our hearts out of our 18 year old hearts and a tad bit older bodies.

As little girls we had plenty of time at our disposal and ate whatever we wanted, thanks to non-existence of fat shaming and anorexic models. Chubby cheeks and love handles were considered signs of health rather than a subject of ridicule. Unlike 12 year olds today who are dieting and crying over breakups, we were a carefree lot who went around eating whatever we wanted (and it continues to this day). Oh the joy of licking our fingers after dunking them in a tin of Milkmaid! Milkmaid has been our strongest collective food obsession. As it was a vital ingredient for payasams and homemade sweets, our Moms made it a staple in the fridge rack. Dunking our fingers in the milkmaid tin when Mom was not looking became a sinful fascination for our naive selves, but soon we became seasoned culprits, uncaught in the mysterious case of the disappearing Milkmaid.

SLURP!
Image Courtesy: Here

Later when I was a teenager, during my study leaves I used to stay at home all day doing nothing. Whenever my sister and I crossed the fridge area, we treated ourselves with a few scoops from the milkmaid bottle. Those were magical times when calories dint count and ingredients were tastier than the end result. Initially Mom used to transfer the Milkmaid to a wide mouthed glass bottle which enabled us to use even the biggest curry spoons in it to extract larger quantities, but she knew that Milkmaid dint last long in the fridge and dint bother to make this effort. Milkmaid tin once opened reveals sharp edges and thus the challenges and trials we overcame to get our fingers into the Milkmaid tin made it a sinfully tempting indulgence. If you are now thinking why we don’t use a spoon instead, well 1. Lethargy has no logic 2. Who will clean the spoon?

My aunt used to stock Milkmaid in her fridge to make her payasams richer; however this was an enriching experience to all of us children visiting her house. The fridge shelves were incomplete without a milkmaid tin in it. Mom, realizing that this is an addiction, tried to replace butter from our bread with Milkmaid but alas, it was an effort that received a lot of flak from us. Milkmaid should be eaten as it is. Not on bread, payasam or pudding! I mean, how hard is it to understand?

Well, we have come a long way from teenage years but the love of Milkmaid stays. We are now mothers of brats, who fight with us for their share of the prized possession- the Milkmaid tin. When my son was almost three months old, one sleepless cranky night I sneaked into the fridge, dunked my finger into a bottle of milkmaid and shared with him as well. He seemed to enjoy it. This could be a revelation to everyone in my family; but how do you expect a baby with taste buds inherited from us survive with just bland milk all the time? Babies have cravings we shouldn’t take advantage of just because they can’t verbally abuse us.

The other day, in the said Whatsapp group of school buddies, there was an incident in which one of us got hurt trying to wipe out the last drop of milkmaid from the tin with her finger. The Milkmaid, which comes in a can, is very unforgiving once opened. She got hurt and had to get a suture and TT as well. Well, all of us girls were highly supportive, because it was for a noble cause and it is totally worth getting hurt for Milkmaid. Such incidents do not deter us from satisfying our impenitent gluttony for Milkmaid, but we would love to get the can revamped to suit our greediness. Milkmaid packing could be a bit friendlier, because most of the eating happens at night with just the fridge light on. For us, it is indulgence for the soul and the therapy that awakens our 15 year old selves.


Nestle, won’t you?

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Aunty, please !

It has been an eventful week with Rio Olympics filling our news feeds with updates on exciting events. If anyone of us has ever tried to be in a sport team at least on a school level you would know the failures and rejection one goes through to make it there. How much more determination, insult defying will-power, strength and perseverance would it take to be on the Olympic nomination list?  Most sports-persons do not have sport background, money or opportunity to get trained professionally. You may have read about the ones who can’t afford to buy shoes that are made to play their sport. We’d never even know these stories had Farhan Akhtar or Priyanka Chopra not showcased a Milkha Singh or Mary Kom.

How many tunnels, rains, and mountains of hurdles would gymnast Dipa Karmakar have overcome to be recognized in gymnastics, which is not even a popular sport in the Indian scene? Well, criticizing sports-persons is a sport anyone can play in India. Even when it comes to cricket the competition is so cut-throat as every family we know has a kid that is getting trained in it. But when Virat Kohli does not score a century and the team eventually loses the game, everyone gets pissed and starts talking like they sponsored him for that match. Then they start flashing pics from his endorsements, personal life and derive possible reasons that could have deterred him from achieving the target each one of us set for him. This is the exact opposite of the word ‘sport’.

‘Did you go to college only to have fun or what?’ is one of the common and the most decent interrogations by parents when the University results are published. We are entitled to listen to these because our parents spent their hard earned money for our education and thus earned themselves the right to question us. What gives us the right to insult hard working sports-persons striving to give their best shot in a spotlight when the whole world is watching? Is it not pride worthy that talented Indian sportsmen and women are participating at Olympic events and representing the country?

Image:Twitter screenshot

This is Shobhaa De. Renowned writer, socialist and opinion shaper of the elderly elite. Specializes in erotic novels. Born with a silver spoon in her mouth.  Have Ambanis, Kapoors, Mittals, Khans and Bachchans on her whatsapp chat list. Do you think freedom of speech has actually gone bit too far? I am curious to know whether she pitched in to pay for the Rio trip.


Image courtesy: Here


Sports are meant to be played, winning and losing is a part of that. Of course we want our country to win and that is patriotism. If we don’t, it is nobody’s fault. Somebody put their sweat and blood into it. When our children participate in a competition and don’t win, do we say ‘what a waste of money and opportunity’ and stop sending him to school? Twitter has roasted this lady enough that she will remember it a long time, but I cannot even believe that there are people half her age more mature than her.

Some celebrities do not know what it is to mince words, and such people should be banned from inflicting their atrocious thoughts to the world. How about a temporary twitter ban? 

Even Serena Williams crashed out of Rio Olympics let's all wait for Ms.De's  comment on that. Perhaps she too was focused on selfies?