“The word ‘Rose milk’, today, has become synonymous with our shop ‘Kalathi’. I still remember my father telling me how he started the journey in a pushcart, back in 1924, to quench the thirst of bystanders with something cool and refreshing. Little did we realize then, that a homemade essence prepared with quality ingredients would leave the customers talking about our shop for generations together.
In fact, Rose milk was just one of the items we sold here, back in the 40s. We had stationery, books, and a host of other eatables too, but nothing seemed to match the delight that a glassful of the flavored milk brought to people’s faces. I guess that’s why we had legends like Mr MGR, and Mr Sivaji Ganeshan paying us a visit often when they passed through the area. For theatre artists again, our milk was a staple! There were many plays put up in the local RR Sabha, and we had performers like Mr Cho Ramaswamy, sipping into it, ten minutes before the start, deeming it to bring good luck.
Slowly but steadily, satiating people’s hearts elevated us from a moving stall to a stable outlet in a popular corner in Mylapore. We did witness competitors too, trying to set up similar stores in the neighborhood, but none of them have been able to sustain for decades now. In that sense, I believe I’ve achieved my purpose of sustaining our business sufficiently well. God has been kind, and the returns from this venture have even helped me send my children abroad.
Nowadays, the question that often pops up is regarding the future of the stall. To that my reply is usually an honest ‘I don’t know’ and quite frankly, I’m not sad about it at all. You see, it’s more important to focus on the now, serving people well, rather than fretting over an unforeseeable future. Plus, I’m pretty sure the legend surrounding Kalathi will linger around, for many more generations, for our Rose milk is topped not only topped with flavor and ice but also, a whole lot of love.”