Remembering My Perima

I woke up to news of my aunt passing. Beyond the first rush of hot tears, my mind went back decades remembering the warm person she was. In the years following my move from Coimbatore to Madras, we (amma, my siblings and I) would pile into an auto and go to Nungambakkam where she lived.

These visits were the standard to which I hold siblingness to account. Amma and Perima caught up on their daily lives, traded notes, shared news the other had not heard and reveled in ties that come from sharing history. To me, these visits were the only times to see my cousins whom I adored. I miss the connections formed then.

These visits would always feature coffee. Perima would roast the coffee seeds, grind them by cranking a hand operated small contraption she would attach to the counter and then brew coffee from freshly ground beans. The smell is seared into my brain and possibly is the thing I associate with her the most. If my amma was excitable, my perima was an oasis of calm. She was the yin to my amma’s yang. She balanced her and in her quiet amiable way, served as amma’s guide, sounding board and a black hole for all her grievances with the world.

I despair to think of a world without perima. I miss her. I mourn her. I wish I were in India grieving with family.

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Laksh View All →

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