I remember three years ago, I was hungry. It was three in
midnight.Mummy was nudging me. I woke up and saw that in her hand was a plate
in which Ma had brought for me bread layered with clotted cream and sugar.
Clotted cream is known as “Malai” in Bengali and Hindi.It is top layer of cream
which forms when milk is boiled.
At that time my father was in Nigeria.
Then something bad started happening. Everyday somebody would steal milk packets from our house front before we could open the door. The milkman would place the milk packets in a bag hung with a hook to our door and despite our constant reminders he would not ring the bell when he placed those milk packets in the bag. So somebody very cunningly, conveniently would steal our packets of milk and few days later we had to stop buying milk from the milk seller, as he wouldn’t owe up to the fact that his boys were faltering in their duties. We started buying tetra packs of milks.
But the milk in the tetra packs doesn’t give malai.
We definitely miss that milk and malai.
Now while we were walking upon an uncommon street (it is not very well known). My mother saw someone having tea in a small glass. That person was standing near the front steps of an store. The store wasn’t attractive but unique.
We went to that shop and ordered for two teas. We asked them-“What else do you sell?”
The shopowner replied- “Milk and malai.”
We were very
surprised. We had never seen a shop
where someone sold malai.
One kadai is always on the stove and the milk is
The shop sells malai @ Rs.25/50 gm and Rs. 50/100 gm. People come all the way to drink milk and tea over there.
We were so surprised that we ordered for the malai. We were
very happy that we can have malai again and maybe with God’s grace all our
troubles would vanish once and for all.
Did you ever have bubble tea?
Bubble teas are juice sort of teas in flavours such as lemon, peach, litchi, kiwi,etc.,
with bubbles flavoured as mango, strawberry, blueberry, etc.
When you drink the tea, the straw
is to be held a little bit higher so that bubbles come straight into your mouth
and that’s where all the fun is hidden. The moment the bubbles, enter your
mouth the whole experience comes alive. Within a second you will find them
popping. The fun cannot be explained. It is super, marvellous and extremely
Whosoever has invented the concept
of bubble tea is an extremely wise, intelligent and efficient person and a nice
human being as well. Have fun while drinking bubble teas.
It’s the month of February. The Chinese New Year, The Year of the Pig has just begun.
Each year February is warmer than December and January but
this year it’s chilly.
Since, this afternoon, cold winds have been blowing and it
made me put on a warmer shirt.
The most unique thing about such afternoons are you can simply go off to sleep in your cosy beds, under warm blanket and sleep till whatever time you want to. If you sleep off till evening, then you can make a cup of nice warm tea and have it with pakodas (an Indian food, which is fried and is very tasty and crispy to eat. It is loved by all Indians) or croissants.
Nothing makes a chilly evening happier than a cup of warm
Life is a very precious gift, which mustn’t be given away at any cost.
I was very grumpy. I ate two plates of panipuri and then
again could not control myself and asked the sandwich vendor to give me the
sandwiches of my choice.
The junk in my stomach was not melting and not even a single
burp was coming out.
Ma was also unhappy to see me like that. We went to the mall
and proceeded towards the gaming zone. I love to watch children playing in the
rides. We could not stand there for long and came out of the mall.
We stepped out from the exit door and were coming down the
steps, when a number of collegians entered the mall, most probably they had
bunked college. We ignored them.
Ma told me that we would walk the distance till home and my
stomach would be easy. An old man, little bent, holding a stick and limping at
each step was walking ahead of us.
We crossed the brackish water stretch. Metro work is going
on over there.
Crossed the road through the space given for all. Ma asked me
to walk slowly as the man was ahead of us and seemed feeble. He crossed and we
too crossed. A person helped him also. He sat on the footpath at the junction
of our lane just to the right, spread a plastic sheet. His dhoti had turned slight
grey to black and his kurta was torn in three places and patch work was done on
While sitting cried in a wonderful, heavy tune from his
heart without scratches “Radhe- O Jagdish” (the consort and her lord). His
voice was extremely melodious , perfect in sur and taal.It was a crystal-clear
voice. He could have beaten any champion of any reality T.V. show.
Both of us were stunned and understood that he earns by
We went near him.Mother gave him ten rupees and I requested
him to sing the same song.
He looked at me quizzically and asked-“You want to hear this
same song from me or some other song?”
I replied-“No, I want to hear this particular song from you.”
He-“Are you sure?”
His face was tired.
He closed his eyes and two lines from a Krishna bhajan came
out from his heart.It was –“Lord, please forgive me that I cannot see you
though you are forever mine”.
He stopped singing. I can tell you that, his voice is
unique, superb and realized beyond life and death. His voice pierced our heart and
overcoming with emotions, Ma and me, both of us were in tears.
Few passer-by’s too had stopped on their way, to hear him
sing. His voice was a rare voice. Such rare voices can never ever be measured
nor are they awarded on Earth.
While tears splashed from my eyes, many questions were aroused
in my mind. They were:-
1.Where did he learn to sing so beautifully?
2.Was he a singer? A trained or a professional singer once
upon a time?
3.How come with such a beautiful and rare voice, he was
sitting near a nullah on a plastic sheet with the sky as his covering?
But I couldn’t ask him those questions. The questions
remained inside my mouth. I felt that he was a huge personality and that gap between
him and me was very big.
I gave him ten bucks and asked him “Uncle will you have
He accepted the ten rupees with a namaskar and replied-“Tea”.
Still the questions pounced my heart and yet I controlled
myself. That old man was an extremely talented musician and definitely he had
some connection with the music world/industry. Seeing him there, it simply didn’t
I crossed the side lane and brought tea for him. His face
Wittily he looked to us and told-“I take care of my voice
God, let me hear from him, let him sing many more songs for many, many more days.
The song of life is like a flowing river, like the sweet melodious tune of a bird. The song can be easy, it can be hard and it can be neither easy nor hard. That’s how the song of life goes. Once it starts, it doesn’t stop. Like the musician, it too has kept on flowing. He has lost his everything, but his music is with him. Be with you and within you.You are you.
“The you” who resides in you is like a rose. Just as a rose
can’t smell and look like lily or jasmine and in the same way, your self can’t
change. Hold on to it and see the truth of life flowing within it.