Chocolate Milk


Four walls, clay pots, the pressure cooker hissing, 

as my mother pounds the tulsi leaves on the mortar. 

She tells me, “child, drink your milk before it gets cold”. 

My feet drag my body to the fragrant kitchen, where 

the crisp air is overwhelmed by notes of piercing, 

bitter clove amidst the lemony aroma.

I stare into the looking glass, where a storm of 

Horlicks chocolate powder twirls in a cup of warm milk, 

the tiny fragments not fully blended in as they wander aimlessly.

The saffron milk refused to let the powder into its embrace, 

drifting the powder off to the edges of the mug.  

I see myself in that glass, a spoonful of the essence, 

brown, sweet, a nuisance.

I could imagine how the powder felt, begging the milk 

to let it blend in. It was as if it was contaminating it,

like the dirty brown soil of the Earth, 

seeping into a sparkling river down the quay.


The taste in my mouth never felt so bitter, 

like a stinging pinch to my mother tongue, 

for imported goods never touch the local heart.

To me, my culture was nothing but a sandstone ruin,

I felt ashamed, I blamed myself over and over,

I abandoned my language, called my heritage useless.

But now I realise that the dirty brown soil is what gives us all life,

and that this salivating chocolate milk loved by many and more 

would cease to exist without its beloved 

brown chocolate powder.




Kimaya Bhuta (Class of 2024) is a Literary Arts student at SOTA. Her cultural awakening occurred when she wrote chocolate milk in 2021. Since then, she has not been able to write anything other than her culture (since she clearly adores it so much).