Summer 1991 – A Scent of Memory, A Song of Nostalgia


Sandeep measured the spices by hand, a pinch of this, a pinch of that, a crumble of something else, then a spoonful of something from unlabeled jar. With each addition a new aroma rose from the pot and blended with the scents already there. It was calming. It was relaxing. It made me very hungry. 

Sandeep handed me a wooden spoon. “Stir slowly but constantly,” she said. She watched as I got a rhythm down, nodding as I reached the proper speed. 

She said, “My grandmother met your grandmother when she was young. I mean, when my grandmother was young. I know your grandmother is older than old. My grandmother did her a favor. That favor has been passed down to me. I am hesitant to ask because I do not know if you honor family obligations and, if you say no, it might mean the end of my family.”

I stirred. I said, “I honor honest debts. Tell me what your grandmother did. Then tell me what you need. If I can fill that need I will. If I cannot, there are others who owe favors to me.”