Saturday, December 03, 2016
The Rose Milk
Madras today's Chennai was always known for its sultry humidity ,imagine if one could get a glass of cool milk flavored by rose syrup there it would be ambrosia itself .
So was the rose milk sold by the famous Kalathi and sons which was a small newspaper mart in East mada street corner near Kapaleeswarar temple the downtown of Mylapore itself .
Even after five decades I find kalathi continues with the same popularity of course the original owners have handed it over to their sons and nephews ,
The rose milk of kalathi was made of pure milk with no additives and rose syrup and powdered ice and churned well ,those days I remember the ice used to be in saw dust laden sacks as Refrigerators were yet to make an appearance and the owner himself would take a big rock like piece of ice and put it in a sack and hit it with a hammer like handle and then put the crushed pieces into the glass and give it a quick whisk with his spoon and hand over the glass of rose milk ,it used to cost 25 paise and today too it isnt very costly it is fifteen rupees for a glass of paradise .
As the cool milk flavored in rose touched out tongue myriad sensations would well up and the icy coldness would spread a pleasant chill into our souls and all the stress and heat would seep off ,it would taste till the last drop the same .
which is why the rose milk was so popular ,actors like Sivaji Ganesan were regular visitors and fans ,the nearby R R Sabha was a well known theater for live dramas and most drama personalities were also aficionados ,
once when I was in eight standard I think I had gone to a drama with a friend and found Nagesh the well known comedian who came as a guest for the day walking out with AP Nagarajan the very famous director ,
we watched them sending their car off telling the driver
we want a walk and we will reach home ,
there was literally no one in the streets and we followed them to the shop ,they were very surprised at Nagesh who was very popular then ,they did not have a rose milk but bought a cigarette which Nagesh lighten with cinematic elegance looking at us children following him later he whistled for an auto and they both went off .
I found an article in the Hindu on this shop
It had a phone number and I called up the owner and told him of my nostalgia for his rose milk he was thrilled to hear it though he wasn't born when I had taken rose milk from his shop .
So when you go to Chennai dont forget to take a rose milk from Kalathi stores in East mada street Mylapore
For details, contact Pushparaj at 9840919797.
So in honor of Kalathi and sons I made a rose milk which wasnt bad at all
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