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Remembering Amma
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TITLE (EDIT)
Remembering Amma
DESCRIPTION
She's fun. She's loving. No one can make pickles better. She's Amma.
[617 words]
AUTHOR
Vaishali Shroff
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[July 2007]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (8)
Genie No More (Short Stories) It's not the ice age. But definitely the end before you begin. [612 words] [Literary Fiction]
It Takes Just One To Tango (Poetry) A source of inspiration to make a better world for everyone to live! [205 words] [Motivational]
Josh Robbins And Mr. Ant (Children) Josh defeats his fear of swimming with inspiration from Mr. Ant. [1,042 words] [Adventure]
Josh Robbins And Rapunzel (Children) A beautiful way to tell children how to take care of things they love... [762 words] [Fable]
Josh Robbins And The Bluegill (Children) Josh is headed for his first fishing expedition with his parents to Fishy Lake when it starts pouring heavily. Read further to find out Josh's tryst with fishing and the adventure that unfolds... [762 words] [Suspense]
Josh Robbins And The Mystery Of The Missing Roses (Children) After Josh Robbins and Rapunzel and Josh Robbins and the Bluegill, Josh plays detective at 7 to catch the thief that stole Martha's roses...the third in the collection of short stories, " The Adventur... [756 words] [Mystery]
Josh Robbins Saves The World (Children) Josh's innocent mind is on a mission to save the world...read more! [944 words] [Adventure]
Song O' Times (Poetry) About some unchanged melodies that take us back in time to live the same moment all over again! [194 words] [Romance]
Remembering Amma
Vaishali Shroff

Pickles – she was a pro at it. No one can make them better than Amma. Whenever posed with the question “How do you do it?” she’d grin and say, “That’s my secret and it will go down with me.”

I’m yet to meet a more graceful woman than Amma. One could never flaw her whiter than white starched cotton sari that had impeccable pleats. It emitted the fragrance of incense sticks that she lit every morning and evening during her puja. Her grey hair glistened in the sun and you could never call her face wrinkled. She always took offence. She called them laugh lines.

As kids, we used to visit her in the village during our summer vacation. She lived there all alone with Sunanda, the care-taker. Sunanda had almost grown up with Amma. After Grandpa died, she kept her good company and was more than family to Amma.

The house was very contemporary with a huge garden laden with vegetables. She also had a mango tree, the source of her tantalizing pickles. I remember climbing the wall and onto the branches of the tree to pluck the mangoes. At times we would just hurl stones with a catapult and the mangoes would race down. We would then hold out our dresses and scamper around to collect them. The one who collected the most number of mangoes was entitled to two sweets from Amma.

A central porch with low seating and a silver centre table was the highlight of this village house. It was here that the family sat for meals and chatted till the wee hours of morning while staring at the starry skies.

We used to prance into the kitchen for goodies that Amma used to cook for us. Her kitchen was still like the ones belonging to the medieval times – made of clay. But she said that rain or shine, her kitchen was always cool. A range of clay jars adorned one of the walls. They had pickles – lemon, mango, ginger, garlic, and the works. They were well known across the village as Amma’s pickles.

Her rather humble room had a wooden cot, a bedside table, and a closet. She always kept a jar of sweets on her bedside table for us when we would crawl up in the night to listen to her stories. A small iron treasure box lay under her cot. No one knew what was in there. She refused to give the keys to anyone, not even my Pa.

The last time we visited her, we urged her to sell the village house and come home with us. But she was adamant about staying there. That was her home. It was there that she grew up with her husband since she was eight and it was there that she wanted to cease her existence.

I cannot forget that fateful morning when we received a telegram and a parcel from the village. Amma was no more. The parcel had the key to her treasure box and a letter.
“Dear children, I am no more but I pray for your well being from the heavens. I will be with you in your good times and bad. Please open the treasure box with this key and hand over my fortune to Sunanda. She has taken care of me with her heart and soul and I owe her this fortune.”

Dejected, Pa went to the village to unveil the secret in the treasure box. As the key turned and the door opened, Pa’s anxious eyes followed its interiors.

But there was nothing but a sheet of paper. It wasn't even a will. It was the recipe to her divine pickles.

 

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2007 Vaishali Shroff
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
September 2007
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
1510
 

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