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Memories of food - Milk Biscuits

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I am ten years old and being sent away to spend my summer holidays with an aunt in Bombay. Somewhere in my luggage are 5 or 6 packets of Britania Milk Biscuits. My aunt has specifically requested for them. Milk Bikis are not yet available in Bombay and somehow Parle G is not quite the same. It's a long train journey and it takes all my will power to keep from me raiding the bag. But by the time we reach Pune, I can no longer resist the call of Milk Bikis. To hell with it, I think to myself, I'll just tell her the railway rats got it. I grab the bag I know contains the packets and plunge my hand into it. But inside I find a smaller cloth bag. And this one has its mouth sewn shut. The witch! I dare not rip the bag open because that would be a step too far. Instead I sulk to a corner seat and hope that I will at least get some crumbs.

It's been two days since we arrived. The biscuits have disappeared into the kitchen. But I have a good idea where they may be kept hidden. The afternoons stretch interminably and there's only one thing to do. I wait until I hear the snores from the bedroom and tiptoe to the kitchen. The shelves are groaning under the weight of dalda tins and grime-stained plastic boxes. I feel like a child in a sweet shop. Heck, I am a child and so on. I must make a quick move. I wildly grab the first box I see. Some kind of flour speckled with scurrying insects. The next few boxes reveal a variety of wildlife with random cooking ingredients thrown in. But I strike lucky by the time I reach the top shelf. I cautionary shake of the box reveals an unmistakable thud-thud. I open to find a half-eaten pack of my beloved Milk Biscuits. I hear movement outside. I have to hurry. I snatch a couple of biscuits, shove them into my skirt pocket, replace the box and saunter out of the kitchen casually.

Just having a drink of water, I call out to no one in particular, and now going to the toilet. I bolt the toilet door secure and reach for my stash of booty. Tears spring to my eyes and I muffle the scream of joy that threatens to escape my mouth at the sight of the biscuits. I sink my teeth into a small corner. And in that instant, the rest of the world falls away. It's just me and the biscuit. I want to savour this experience for as long as possible. But someone outside is wondering what's taking me so long. Reluctantly, I shove the biscuits into my mouth, chomping on them as quickly as possible. It's all a bit too rushed for my liking. But I cannot risk being found out. Tomorrow afternoon, I promise myself, tomorrow.

On Murukku, Elandampazham, Milkmaid, Maggi & Idli


Sunitha said…
Milk biscuits! This story brings back so many fond memories.....I loved to have them with a glass of milk or coffee once I grew up a bit more :-) Lovely post; thanks.
Anu Jayanth said…
'It's just me and the biscuit'...beautiful! I think we have all had a biscuit affair sometime. I loved the ones with the cream filling.
swarna said…
oooh milk bikis...i used to love biting away the border and leave the BRITTANIA letters in the middle and slowly bite away each alphabet at a time! how wonderfully tasty!
reminds me of sumthin else i used to go and sneak out of the kitchen...amul butter :D
Priyamvada_K said…
I love Milk Bikis. Among the first things I buy during India visits is this :)

Parle G does not come close.

Bolting the toilet door and chomping our steal inside!...enjoyed this bit the most...brings back memories.Have not many of us done that?And we now tell our kids never to take food inside the toilet!ha ha ha.
katty said…
All the properties of the milk are really important not only for the children but the adult too. The milk contain many vitamin, potassium, calcium and iron.This kind of properties is needed for the people.

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"Now that I'm fifty-seven",
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