The aroma of the onion sambar wafted in the air as Gayatri finished tempering it with mustard and curry leaves.
The potato curry looked enticing, and so were the french beans curry and the lemon rasam.
She decorated the carrot halwa with cashews, raisins and pistachios.
Her son, Anshul had invited his new boss and his wife for lunch.
Gayatri was an excellent cook. Having lost her husband when Anshul was hardly two years old, she started a small catering unit from home. Cooking had always been her passion.
Soon news about her culinary excellence attracted many customers.
Sweating it out Gayatri had managed to give Anshul the best education and today at 30, he was well placed.
A contented smile broke on Gayatri’s lips as she gave a final supervisory look at all the preparations.
She would now go and rest in her room till the guests left.
Her son and daughter in law had coaxed her to be with them for lunch, but she coyly refused.
Though Anshul’s boss, Raghavan was a South Indian, he had been abroad for almost 2 decades and was married to a foreigner. Gayatri knew she would feel like a fish out of water amongst them as they would converse in English. She was not well versed in the language.
From her room Gayatri could hear the doorbell ring and after some time plates were cluttered indicating lunch had started.
But in a few minutes, she was surprised to hear voices approaching her room and a knock at the door.
No sooner did she open it than a tall man in his mid-thirties came forward and touched her feet.
“Gayatri amma I knew it was you as soon as I tasted The Onion sambar. Shedding all inhibitions I straightly asked for the dessert. I was sure that no one other than Gayatri amma could make such mouth-watering carrot halwa.”
He prompted his wife to touch Gayatri’s feet.
Gayatri was bemused and taken aback by this kind of loving gesture.
“You did not recognize me amma, did you?” Anshul’s boss smiled.
“I was a 12-year-old boy when I lost my mother. It was then that I used to come to your house every day to pick up lunch and dinner for myself and dad. Knowing that I was missing the warmth of a mother, you used to hug me and feed me with extra food, lovingly. They were days of such warmth and happiness for me. I never missed my mother after I met you, but unfortunately, my dad got transferred to a foreign land and I had to leave. I was a small boy and did not know how to express my love and gratitude for you.” Gayatri could see his eyes turn misty.
She profusely apologised for not being able to recollect him. He smiled.
“You may not remember the unconditional love that you showered upon me but I will always remember you as Gayatri amma, my mother.”
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One thought on “Reverence”
A child can never forget the aromatic delights cooked by the mother’s magical hands. Perfectly served.