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The Milk Man

We can buy pasteurised milk in plastic packets from the local shops.  But there is an institute here called the 'doodhwala' (milkman).  He seems to be everywhere.

Where I live, the milkman usually arrives on a bicycle or a motor cycle.  He carries big, steel cartons of milk on his vehicle.  He brings milk which has to be strained and boiled.  We get several litres of milk a day via the milk man.  Most people claim his milk tastes better than the shop milk.  I'm not so sure about that.

There was a milkman coming to our house every day.  He used to send his son to bring the milk for us in the evenings.  Now, the boy probably had a lot of regard for the household across the road from us.  It is a big house and they have a lot of servants.  The ladies of that house never deal with the milkman.  I noticed he used to send the milk into that house in a steel carton. However, he used to come to me in my kitchen and ask me to bring a large pot outside to collect my milk.  I didn't like going out on the road to collect my milk, it made me feel embarrassed doing my kitchen work in front of the neighbourhood.  I asked him several times to pack our milk in the steel container and send it to the kitchen but he wouldn't.  It really got to me because he would arrive, very full of himself and practically order me to come out and collect the milk.   At that time I was usually busy both cooking and serving my children and this milk 'mission' was a nuisance.

Doodhwalas, as the milkmen are called in Hindi, are often accused of cheating, of diluting the milk with water.  Maybe some of them do. One day, when our milk accidentally boiled over (I have no idea WHO was responsible for that!).  I cleaned up the mess quickly so no-one would see it.  I shifted the milk to a very clean pot and added a few glasses of water to make up for the shortfall because of spillage.  That's a little trick I picked up from my senior mother-in-law Aunt Urmila.They tend to go mad in our house if anyone spills milk. One likes to avoid these situations. 

I felt awful the next day though when I heard my father-in-law giving out to the milkman for diluting the milk.  He was giving out hell to him and threatening to go to a different dairy in future.  The milkman, poor thing, apologized and said it wouldn't happen again.  I haven't tried that trick since then.  If the milk is less through boiling over, it stays the way it is!

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