It is the season when thousands of presses across many towns in the world are brought out, serviced and set to press sugar-cane. Despite different type of juices and aerated colas, cane-juice is a popular, cheap and locally available drink in sugar-cane producing countries. It is perhaps the only drink that does not fill the coffers of large corporations but provides succour for the common man.
In one such town, one year ago Pradyuman babu (PB) had been recently diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. Unwilling to undergo the many medical procedures and lacking the resources for them, he decided to enjoy his remaining days.
PB was a man of simple tastes. He had lived a spartan life. He spent his time in ritualistic worship of his deities and earned his livelihood through singing bhajans (psalms) at religious gatherings. Having no responsibilities and no family, he did this more for the pleasure of it rather than for money. However, like all truly wise men he was fond of sweets and sugar cane juice was his favorite.
That summer he lived on sugar-cane juice and rice cooked in the juice. Soon the winters set in and the juice sellers packed up their presses and moved on to selling tea and eggs. PB felt sad and thought ……. How long now? He opted for another test. The prostate-specific-antigen was within normal range.
PB is now looking forward to another summer full of sugar-cane juice