milk+ water

The whole evening,I could think of nothing else, but my brand new bike. I imagined the look on Jessy’s face when she sees my cycle. She is sure going to be jealous. Her father got her a magical ruler, but my mother is buying me a brand new hero bicycle. may be she would want to be my friend. Should I let her ride my bicycle? She didn’t let me touch her magical ruler. May be i won’t let her ride my bicycle. Anyway she always calls me a pandi. She wouldn’t want to ride a pandi’s bicycle.
I imagined Akkachi coming out of the kitchen saying
‘oh God, what I am I going to do, salt is finished and the curry is almost ready’ and Super Nina will tell Akkachi ‘Don’t worry Akkachi, I will buy salt for you’ and I will zoom in my bicycle to Anichettan’s shop and buy salt for Akkachi. If Amma is sick and need to go to the hospital, Super Nina will make Amma sit in front of her bicycle and zoom to the hospital. My head felt light and dizzy thinking of all the things I would be able to do with my bicycle.
I went to bed hoping that tomorrow would come faster and we can go to Mr. Aiyappan’s office.
I woke up hearing the milk seller ringing his cycle bell.
“Akkachi, I will get the milk ” I quickly got up and went to the kitchen to collect the milk pot.
“Today the pigs will fly!!, Kochumaharani woke up ahead of the birds!!! May be the world is coming to an end!”
I took the milk pot from Akkachi’s hand and stuck my tongue at her. I ran outside to the main gate.
“Aha, who is this? What happend Nina? Where is your servant?”
“Akkachi is inside. I thought I will help her today.”
I gave the milk pot to Shankaran Chettan and watched him meassure 2 lit of milk from the big aluminium milk can.
I looked at his bicycle. It was an old junk.
“Chetta, how did you learn to ride a bicycle?” I asked him
“Riding a bicycle? That is very easy. You sit on the seat and hold the handle and pedal”
“Really? Is that all?” I asked him
“Ofcourse, riding a cycle is as easy as saying 1.2.3. When I was young I could even ride without holding the handle”
“Will I also be able to ride without holding the handle?”
He looked at me
“Why Nina? Are you getting a new bicycle?”
I remembered the promise I made with Amma.
“No, no, I am not getting a new bicycle, but I always wanted to learn how to ride a bicycle”
I quickly grabbed the milk pot from him and walked back to the house slowly and carefully so as not to spill the milk.
I gave the pot to Akkachi and she placed it on the gas stove to boil.
“Akkachi, I will stir the milk, Why don’t you make tea for Amma?”
“Why Kochumaharani, you seem to be in a hurry this morning?”
“Don’t you remember? Today we are going to Mr Aiyappan’s offfice to change my bicycle colour?”
“Oh, so that is why Kochumaharani woke up early today”
“Hmm”. I nodded my head.
“Will you do me a favour Nina?” She asked me
“Ofcourse, What do you want me to do for you?”
“Shhh don’t tell your mother, Come with me” I watched Akkachi reducing the gas flame. She held my hand and and took me to the shed where she keeps all her clothes.
She took an old magazine from the bottom of her suitcase. I watched her flipping through the pages and then she stopped.
“Look at this saree Nina” She pointed to a photo of an actress in her wedding photo. “Will you see if Mr Aiyappan has the same type of blue kancheepuram saree with a red border and find out how much it is”.
“Whose photo is this Akkachi?”
“This is Sharada, and this is Prem Nasir. They acted in so many movies together”
“Did she marry him? Is this her wedding photo?”
Aiyyo Nina, She didn’t marry Prem Nasir, She is a hindu and he is a muslim. This is a picture from the movie called ‘Vishukkaineetam’
“Oh I see. I thought it is a real wedding photo. Why can’t a hindu marry a muslim Akkachi?”
“because that is how it is”.
We could smell something burning
aiyyo milk” Screamed Akkachi and we ran back to the kitchen. I saw the milk pot with the milk bubbling on top and spilling outside.
Ente Ammo I am going to be in trouble. Stupid gas stove!” I watched Akkachi quickly removing the milk pot from the fire.
“Nina get me the dish cloth” She pointed to the cloth that was near the sink and I grabbed it and gave it to Akkachi. I grabbed another dish cloth and started to clean the mess
“Be careful Nina, stove is hot.”
“hmm” I mumbled.
After cleaning the stove Akkachi looked at the pot. The top edge of the pot already has a layer of dried burned milk.
“Akkachi, pour the milk in to another bowl and wash the pot before Amma see it” I told her
“That is a good idea Nina” I watched Akkachi pouring the hot milk to another steel bowl and washing the milk pot. She poured the milk back. She looked inside the pot and said
bhagavathy, What am I going to do? Atleast half a liter of milk is gone. Stupid gas stove. I reduced the flame before we went. Your mother is going to kill me today”
“Add some water Akkachi”.
” Then it will be too diluted Nina. Shankaran Chettan already adds half liter of water to every liter of milk!”
“Akkachi that is true and Amma knows that. So Amma will blame Shankaran chettan, not you.”
Akkachi looked at me and then at the pot.
“Do it before Amma gets up Akkachi” I hurried her
Akkachi took a glass from the cupboard and filled it with water from the kitchen tap and poured it in to the milk pot. She stirred the milk. it looked extremely diluted. Unfortunately It didn’t reach the 2 lit mark. If she added another glass of water, Amma for sure would have doubts.
“Don’t worry Akkachi, Tell Amma, I drank the rest. Now make some tea, So I can wake up Amma”.

17 thoughts on “milk+ water

  1. Hi,
    That monolith was very much there even during those days. It had “live” company most of the time, a grey-black bull- the “ambla-kkala”(temple bull). The latter was an equally fascinating landmark, it would feast on the banana leaves thrown/stolen from the fresh flower shop in the corner, while lying down in the middle of the road. Traffic – whatever little of it was there those days- had to go around it!
    I still emember “Jolly” the bus with a nose ( those days there were mookkolla bus and mookkillatha bus!) that used to ply once every 2 hours between Karappuzha and Kottayam trying hard to negoitiate around its well fed torso!
    The monolith itself had a thousand “eyes” ( small pits ) all over, I used to imagine that the “parayan” ( untouchable, years ago in the mad house that was Keralam – as per Swami Vivekananda)who got turned into a stone for sins, was watching all of us in anger!!

  2. wow…long time Sarah…but good to read those stories it reminds me of my childhood days and vacation times..!
    The milk n water thing I am not sure if its still there but i have heard this argument so often between the customer n the milkman 🙂

  3. njan idaykidaykku vannu vayikkunnundu ketto.. feel bad that i cant be a regular here and lots of back logs too :-(. bt seriously u can think of publishing these gems now 🙂

  4. Madhavan Kutty:Methran Thambi’s wife was famous around chengannur kara as the only seller who never adultrated the milk!!.. I guess i was just the opposite!

    Shnakari: I had to

    Starrynight: I was street smart, Akkachi was honest and kind!

    Madhavan Kutty: I remember the tiny depressions on the stone, some had chunnambu stain on it..I have asked so many people abt tht stone.. Everyone remembers it was there from the beginnning..No one knows why it is there.
    I remember the Ambalakkala too..eating the banana leaf from the flower shops( there were 3 when i was there).. One such Ambalakkala gave me a lot of trouble as I had to go to a mana near the temple for my maths tuition. The walkway was narrow and it would lay in the middle. I was so scared of crossing the kala!!

    Dawn: They still add water to milk.. The last I heard is..they are adding chemicals as well..

    Jac: pavam Akkachi. Her innocence would have got her in to so much trouble!

    Silverine: I am glad too.. She was the rock!

    Rose: Super Nina was always there to save Akkachi!!

    Neihal: I wished too

    Sketchy: Thank you for visitng my blog

    Visithra: Amma came to the kitchen that morning and asked..did something burn today…? and We had to lie further by saying that, Akkachi couldn’t lit the fire, so we used the paper to start the fire!

    Has to be me: Survival.. I knew the fine art of surviving!

    jithu: long time.. haven’t seen you..good to see you around!!

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