“Ammu?”

I looked up from the novel I was reading and looked at my grandmother with a question mark on my face.

“Would you like a bite?” She asked invitingly. I craned my neck to take a peek at what she had on her plate and saw she had a small, tightly bound, soft looking stuff. “What is that?” I asked her.

“It’s just the last piece of my idli.” (Idli is a typical south Indian steamed food.)

“Nah I’m good.”

“I’ve made it exactly how you like it,  why dont youtaste it and see for yourself?” She asked.

“You’re just saying that because your stomach’s full and you don’t want to finish it yourself.” I said accusingly. I was annoyed because this happened at least 3 times in a week and she constantly went around the house, hawking her leftovers to the rest of the unwilling members of my family.

“No I’m not trying to fool you!  It really is…..”, her voice faded as I stomped out of the room.

I had hardly taken a few steps when I stopped dead. My brain went into flashback mode. I remembered how my dear grandfather, who is now dead used to adopt the same technique every night my mother prepared idli for dinner.

I smiled when another memory clunked into place. He would desperately try to sneak the steamed bananas my grandmother used to try to make him eat, onto my plate when I wasn’t looking. He would then receive an earful from me.

I realized in that moment that I would give anything in the whole world to experience that just one more time so that this time around I could fully appreciate it. I became aware of what I was throwing away by igoring my grandmother.

I turned around immediately and started walking rapidly back to the kitchen.

“Hey about that idli….I think l’ll eat it after all..” I ran the last few steps and skated to a halt in front of her. She still held it in her hand. I guess she knew somehow that I would come back. I sank to my knees so she wouldn’t have to reach far and high to feed me, making a silent promise to cherish these instances each time the presented themselves to me.

I opened my mouth far and wide and looked up into her smiling face.

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