It has been a week of incessant rains and intermittent wet flurries in Boston. The murky skies, punitive droplets and frosty winds give no indication of the spring that is supposed to have set in almost three weeks back. As I snuggle in a blanket watching the romantic showers trickle down the window, the whims of piping hot red molaga bajji dipped abundantly in coarse white chutney, complemented with sips of dicotion kappi in a tumbler, grip me. I fantasize the oil-laden golden bajjis and almost scent the mesmerizing aroma, so apt for the chilliness outside.
I suddenly shake back to life realizing that the wafting redolence is now replaced by the rustiness of a closed heated room. I dotingly remember amma, who would have, as if read my mind, walked in with a plate of bajjis and masala tea. I smile traveling back to evenings spent over warm tea (amma always preferred tea to coffee) on the huge dining table, cooling the tea back and forth from dawara to tumbler, table-talking about everything under the sun. It was those little moments of sheer nothingness and smiles, which brought me closer to her.
Amidst phases of elaborate arguments and instances of puerile laughter, amma and I had created a world of two of us for three years, in appa’s absence to Goa. She was my confidant, friend and fighter-cock sibling back then. As I look back at my engineering years; they wouldn’t be complete without this fifty something (still looks thirty eight), cherubically puny, enthusiastic, subtly pious, cleanliness freak, childish laughter filled and marvelous cook, my mother.
I grab the packets of chilly powder and besan, enclosed with love and emanating reassurance of amma’s touch to the perfect taste, enthused to try my first bajji. I imitate the unconscious observations I made watching amma cook, sitting on the kitchen platform munching down half cooked pieces of food, much to amma’s kind indignation. As I eye the amateur half brown bajjis floating in oil, I let out a little sigh and a sweet tear, missing amma and her golden bajjis.