How Bollywood glamorized a glass of milk

Written By

Khushboo Singh

How Bollywood glamorized a glass of milk Loading

My family is obsessed with movies. My birth certificate endorses this obsession. ‘Khushboo’ – it points out in a terrible handwriting. It reminds everyone of the moment when Jitendra sang dejectedly on a boat in Calcutta. My siblings and I inherited this love for movies from my parents. During our teens, we started relishing good cinema as a family. My siblings and I came out with flying colors during every family Antakshari competition. My parents were so proud.

It was during one such family movie days when my life changed forever. A wedding-dance sequence was followed by girls giggling annoyingly around the bride. Then the groom walked where the bride was waiting patiently. Suddenly, I noticed that my parents’ uneasiness as the scene progressed. I was instructed to change the channel immediately. Those weren’t the days of remote controls. I walked towards the TV and held the knob on the right side of the screen. Alas! It was too late. The bride had already offered a large glass of milk to the groom. After gulping it down, the groom held the bride by her shoulder. The camera soon moved and two large flowers kissed each other enthusiastically. Tak Tak! I changed the channel only then.

“Maa, why wasn’t the bride allowed a glass of milk?” I inquired

“I don’t know,” My mother avoided eye contact.

“And, why did the flowers dance?” I asked her again.

“Did you complete your homework?” My mother inquired, her gaze piercing my eyes.

I was convinced to complete my already completed homework. Obviously, I never received an answer. As a teenager who was struggling with her own raging hormones, I was upset. I was slowly getting exposed to the bias against the fairer sex.

“How unfair the man gets a glass of milk and the woman is deprived of it,” I thought to myself.

Thankfully, teens were over and I graduated in to my 20’s. I had discovered the answer for the dancing flowers. Biology, few friends and the internet helped. However, the mystery behind the glass of milk remained to be uncovered.

Soon, I met my husband and love blossomed. Like a classic Indian family, both our families objected to our relationship. A drama followed by several hard hitting dialogues and finally, everybody agreed. Finally, were to be married soon. Hurray!

A day before my wedding when I was watching a movie a haunting memory knocked my door again. A wedding scene played itself. It was new age cinema. Here the flowers were replaced with the bed shaking vigorously creating a creaking sound. However, what remained consistent was the glass of milk. In my head I rehearsed several times handing over the glass of milk to my husband. I also imagined the bed-shake moment. I could somehow relate to this more than the gently kissing of flowers.

After the wedding and rituals, THE TIME had arrived. My in-laws wished us good night and went off to sleep. I waited for my husband in our room. I looked at the beautifully decorated bed. I wondered if it would withstand what was to follow. I was rehearsing the scene in my head continuously.  After a few minutes as my husband entered the room, I couldn’t believe my eyes. He was smiling from ear to ear and held two glasses of milk. The gray mater in my brain churned out 100 thoughts per second. Had the tables turned? Women liberation, finally? I hi-fived myself in my head.

“Have a glass of masala milk,” my husband handed over a glass to me while enjoying his share of milk gleefully.

Vivid pictures played in my head. I giggled and kept the glass down. Although I was tired, I jumped on the bed. Astonished, my husband broke in to a fit of laughter. He wondered if he had married a monkey.  Embarrassed and almost in hysterical tears I narrated everything to him. He laughed even more. Thankfully, what could have been an humiliation of a lifetime turned in to a beautiful memory. After several peals of laughter, we lost ourselves to slumber.

It was then I realized that Bollywood had glamorized a glass of milk for no reason.




Khushboo is a passionate blogger and loves writing about anything under the sun. She believes every situation a bit of humor to it if one decides to look for it. She has a large appetite for fiction. She lives with her husband in Toronto.

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