New Delhi: World Milk Day is celebrated every year on June 1. It is a day for milk lovers. For me, milk is just not a drink, it's an emotion. Sometimes when I recall my childhood memories, they make me laugh and feel emotional at the same time. My Nanu and Nani used to make me drink milk with their own hands. My childhood days were spent mostly in my maternal uncle's house while my mother lived in a village.
I think, not only humans but even animals have a strong relationship with milk by birth. A newborn baby doesn't have to eat anything other than mother's milk. Milk is packed with calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and different vitamins. It’s an excellent source of protein.
I was a 2-year-old boy, and since I lived with my Nanu and Nani, they used to love and care for me a little extra. Most of the time, I drank milk from my Nanu's hand. I remember that I wasn’t fond of milk a lot but my Nanu always told me if I don't drink it, how will I become a strong and powerful man. When I recall this, I laugh and my eyes become teary. I remember that I did not like ‘Malai’ in the milk and due to this, he had to filter the milk again and again.
Not only in my maternal uncle's house, but I also spent my holidays with my mother and she was always worried about my health as every mother does. In my childhood, she made sure I drank milk twice a day. In my village, everyone was so sweet to me. Our neighbours loved me and I always used to go to their home every day because I remember that they always gave me a full glass of milk or curd and I loved the taste of it.
One of my childhood friends taught me how to extract cow's milk and how to drink it directly. In the beginning, I was afraid but he forced me and said you are from the village so should know about it, but I did it only once. It was fun for me to know about all these things. Seriously, I didn't like the taste of crude milk. Cows are the sweetest animals I have ever seen, very polite and calm.
It was fun and emotional for me when I spent my days in my hometown. I remember that I always waited for my holidays and thought about when I would go to my home town to enjoy all of this. I remember that when I went to my hometown for my holidays, my neighbours used to come home with milk or buttermilk because everyone knew that I love both these things too much and most of the time, there were two or three bottles full of buttermilk at my home and that made me so happy.
When I used to pack my bag to go back to my house, one of my neighbours always gave me a full bottle of buttermilk, and even now she never forgets this. I remember that one day, I was having my lunch at my friend's house and his mother gave me a typical plate of Indian food including sabzi and roti with lots of ghee and said, “Eat, how skinny you are, lagta hai shehar mein ghee nahi milta,” and that is something a lot of us have heard from someone at some point in our lives.
All of this makes me think how lucky I am. Everyone loved me and took care of me like their son and milk has always been a big part of that.