As I walked past the lush green paddy fields, crossing the clear water streams and climbed the steps to unbolt the door, I was hit upon by the very familiar smell of spices, dried husk and coconut oil, I realised I have finally reached my home.I walked past the huge pool, now clogged with algae and rotting leaves which but was once my favourite places.The water had the magic potion to wash away my numbness and fatigue every time I took a plunge.
I stood in the courtyard, one of the busiest places at my home filled with people from far across places come visiting my achan for various remedies.It was here where I might have played umpteen number of games amidst of the drying peppercorns or cocoa bits and also my mother’s scoldings.
As I moved into my home, I passed the most fearful place in my home, that would be the achan’s study where he kept huge volumes of books and papers.It was quite out of ordinary thinking about home my achan had kept all of these in order, despite his busy schedule.We were always restricted from entering his room unless it was absolutely necessary.I remember that almost all our needs proceeded through my amma.
It was then, I called out for my amma, who came running from the kitchen.The strain of age was seen in her face, streaks of silver popping more frequently than the last time.I have never seen my amma, sit for a moment.She always had something to do. Either fill up pots of water or wash dishes or clothes or cook our meals or feed the cows, cats and hen and so on.I have never seen her fail in any of these activities. Or did I fail to notice until now?? She then took me to the old and dilapidated soot filled kitchen where I was fed with rice and my favourite curries along with the hot rice payasam.Her love for me shows up even in the food.
“Sigh!!I now realise that the only precious thing which I ever have with me is these few moments of true feelings which I go through when I relive my memories.”
* achan – father
*amma – mother