If you have to ask you'll never know ! [L.Armstrong]... thats Louis not Lance.

Dec 5, 2007

Operation Flood!

On a cold and grey Chicago morn, another little baby child is born, in Bandra. He grows up and when he's twelve he's told he's got to fetch the milk. You have to be at the milk booth line before the milk runs out. So you stumble out of bed and sleep walk to the kitchen meatsafe,below which the bottles are kept.

To the door and halfway out before you realise your still in your pyjamas. Changed , you make your way down stairs to find the other milk collectors from your building have started off to the milk booth without you. Its December so it's dark and it's cold. You're struggling to remember what your Mother told you last night. Two toned milk [ red striped caps] , one ordinary [blue striped caps] or was it the other way around. You run to catch up with them, clutching milk bottle carrier in one hand and milk money in the other. [ your home shorts pocket has a hole and the money might slip out ]. You're at the end of the line of milk bottles . Everyone leaves their bottle carriers in their order of arrival to mark their place in the queue and tries to find the most comfortable spot on the pavement to sit. The window from which the milk is sold is shut but the service door to the booth is open. The milk truck arrives and the newbies in the line scramble to pick up their bottles and retrieve their place in the queue. But old hands like us know that the line is going nowhere until the window opens. The man selling the milk from the booth has his own supply chain going so out of the 400 odd bottles of milk delivered only 250 [ or thereabouts ] is going to be released into the free market. The professional delivery men with baskets the size of airport trolleys corner more than half the market. They probably come in after dinner every night and spend the night here. [ You would if your daily bread and butter depended on delivering somebody elses milk ] You've reached the head of the line and there's still milk available. Alleluia ! You wont have to go to the Bhaiya's dairy and buy his concoction of three parts milk ,one part water. You head home finding time to look up into the dark December morning sky and see Orion getting ready to be banished into the pre dawn. At home the foil striped cap comes off. You put your finger into the bottle and retrieve what has to be the tastiest, thickest, freshest, everythingest cream in the world. Three bottles, three caps off, [ carefully so that they can be refixed on the bottles, because Mother thinks it's piggish to retrieve the cream with a not too clean finger ]. three heavenly slurps. Why can't you use the handle of the spoon ?
And back to bed you go where you have the strangest dream. That milk will be available in packets. And you can keep it for more than a month without it going bad. That even Modern Stores who until now deals only in Amul butter and dollars has rectangular blue cartons filled with milk on his shelves. That whenever and wherever you want milk you can get it. Yeah sure ! Wishes are horses and beggars will ride.

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