01 December 2016


The Last Milkman:
                                              My father was very fond of cow’s milk and other milk products. He even kept cows for that, but change of places due to his transferable job made it extremely difficult to maintain a cow.
When he was transferred to Balasore, getting good milk was a problem for his large family. There was no Omfed or Mothers milk those days. He kept a cow but it died soon after consuming the leftover of a marriage feast. Lastly he decided to keep milk from a milkman at door step, introduced by an advocate friend. Initially the milkman Gouranga supplied real thick good milk. As months passed by the specific gravity of the milk changed. When father asked Gouranga about the liquidity of milk, he was quick to answer that it’s because of rainy season. The cows were grazing for hours at the river banks to consume the thick grass hence there was more milk yield and liquidity due to high water content of the grass. Father got convinced.
                                             Next month Gouranga took some advance from father and said it will be adjusted with amount of milk delivered.
                         The milk quality deteriorated further and none of his children improved their heath, they remained rickety as before. This time father could only warn Gouranga but dare not to stop him due to the advance money. When my mother asked the milk man “why there is no cream in the milk?”
“Maa it will be, after my house construction is over.”
“But, what cream has to do with your house construction?”
“Simple, Maa.I am not able to pay any attention to my cows.”
Those days the idea of adding urea and oil to milk had not struck with the common people.
 Gouranga in the mean while had purchased a second hand cycle so that he could cover more distance and more customers. He was staying on the other side of Budhabalanga River in a village called Gopal Gaon.

Then came the flood and milk became more diluted. Father gave the last warning to Gouranga and asked why the milk was looking creamy without any cream?
“Babu, it’s the flood water which sips in to the milk containers while crossing the flooded river. What I can do you tell me?”Gouranga was straight forward in his statement.
The next day father’s habit of drinking milk stopped and cow’s milk was substituted with Amulwhole milk dry powder.
                                       The old man, my father  is no more, so also Gouranga but whenever I go to purchase Omfed milk I remember how Gouranga could build a house and buy a cycle by supplying  ‘water milk’ to his customers.

Down the Memory Lane:

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