Monday, September 20, 2010

Sugar in the Milk

The following conversation is real. It took place when I was about five or six years old.

My mom and I were in the kitchen, going through the usual evening ritual - she'd boil the milk for us kids, make coffee for herself and tea for dad. We did this everyday. Today, just as she had poured the milk in our mugs, I asked her a question:

Me: Mom, why are you adding sugar to the milk? Is it necessary?
Mom: Not really, it's for making the milk sweeter.
Me: I've seen on TV the diabetes uncle telling to not put sugar, is it bad for him.
Mom: Yes, too much sugar can be bad for you.
Me: Why do we put it in at all? Only for the taste?
Mom: Yes. It's not essential for health.
Me: How would it be without the sugar?
Mom: I don't know. I need it with my coffee, but with your milk anyways we put just half the spoon. You want to try your milk today without the sugar?
Me: Ya!
Mom: Ok.

So that day I had a mug of milk without sugar. Tasted great. The sweetness within the milk was good enough for me. It had a unique taste that I found better than when we added sugar to it.

Then onwards, since the age of five or six, I've always had milk without any sugar. It's not that I don't like it.. you can ask anyone who knows me - I'm a full-blown sweet hogger and I even have jaggery with meals whenever it's available. But with milk, I feel like adding sugar depletes the taste, so I simply don't.

Everyone else around me took sugar with their milk - even my siblings. That was ok, this was the way I liked it. I asked my mom if it was Ok. She said it of course it was! Why should I do something I didn't want to just because everybody else was doing it?

I did not need to follow the crowd.

Maybe there are some things in life that are just like this sugar.

Maybe we are adding it, or doing it, just because we see everyone else around us adding it or doing it. Maybe because of this, we have assumed that it is necessary. That it has to be that way, that we can't have the milk without it.
But I proved that wrong at the age of five (or six, can't remember!). I did not need the sugar. I could enjoy the milk on my own terms.

Maybe at some point we can all take out a moment to introspect and find out the unnecessary sugar in our own lives? What if we asked ourselves: What is it that I'm doing just because the crowd is doing it too? Do I really need it? Could I be better off without it, with something else, or by doing the same thing in a different way?


Ashish said...

really fantastic... everyone wants to worship the rising sun... they jus follow the crowd unquestionably... thnks for sharing this article...

Nikhil Sheth said...

hey Ashish, thanks a ton for the comment!

Sushant said...

Great post Nik ...
Loved the way the post turned a bit philosophical towards the end .. good one !

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