installation view of various projects, 2005
newspaper, egg cartons, film canisters, milk cartons, paper tubes, paper and plastic grocery bags, cardboard boxes
As a child, I woke up early to go to school. The milkman came at 7:30, lugging two aluminum
cans of milk on the sides of his big black HERO bicycle. Stopping by our house, he yelled, "Doooooooooodh (Miiiiillk...)!)"
furiously ringing the bell on his bike at the same time. I went out with a stainless steel vessel to get
a liter of milk. Sometimes, we talked about his cows while he poured the morning's fresh milk.
My mother regularly made yogurt, buttermilk, butter, and ghee (clarified butter) from the milk. If we ran out
of yogurt, my sister or I would go to a neighbor's place with a small steel bowl and borrowed some to make our own.
We mixed a small amount of yogurt with our milk and left it out overnight to make more yogurt. I never saw milk
cartons or containers coming to our house.
My sister loved Bournevita chocolate flavoring in her milk. My mother filled the empty Bournevita
jars with spices and neatly arranged them on a shelf in the kitchen. She paid two rupees more to get a glass
jar rather than a carton.
Every month a scrap vendor came to the neighborhood and we bargained hard with him to get a good price
for all our scrap, including cans and old newspapers. Some of the scrap ended up in the old city where lower-income
families made beautiful and useful articles of daily use from it. They were then sold in the flea market held
every Sunday under the old iron bridge.