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Of Memories and Nostalgia: The Call of the Cauliflower, Musings, India

It was a lazy, rainy morning in New Delhi. I was pursuing my BA in advertising at the Kamala Nehru College. That day, my classes were to begin in the late afternoon, so I planned to leave for college after lunch.

My maternal grandma (Nani) was visiting us for the day, and my instinct was to bunk college and spend the day with her, but with exams approaching, I couldn’t miss classes.

Though many grandkids are close to their grandparents, my bond with my Nani was beyond words. She was my happy place and gave me the warmest hugs. I instinctively wanted to spend as much time with her as possible since I always feared that one day she wouldn’t be there anymore, and I would miss that feeling of home that I got from her.

That rainy afternoon, Nani asked my mom what was there to cook for lunch, and mom replied, ‘cauliflower’. Though Nani had aged quite a bit by then and had difficulty walking, she was always eager to help in whichever way she could, as she was an excellent cook and loved feeding people.

So, between getting ready for college, I brought the cauliflower to where she was sitting and handed it over for her to cut. Just then, Nani asked if I knew how to cut the florets without spoiling their shape. Of course, I didn’t, and this is when Nani asked me to watch how she does it and learn.

The next 20 minutes were pure brilliance as I watched Nani separate the cauliflower florets with a finesse that only comes with years of practice. Once separated, she pruned the parts that needed a little extra love, and before I knew it, the cauliflower was ready for cooking.

As for me, I had just witnessed an artist at work.

ALSO READ: Amazing Life Lessons Learned from my Grandma

Fast forward to today.

Whenever I sit down to cut and prepare cauliflower for cooking, memories of that lazy morning with Nani flashback in front of my eyes, dripping with nostalgia and deep gratitude.

And I am reminded of some of life’s simplest lessons —

1. No skill ever gets wasted, no matter how simple and futile it may seem.

2. If you want to become perfect at something, keep practising.

3. Every person has something valuable to teach you, so pay attention.

4. Memories are the most valuable treasures of life. Keep making memories.

ALSO READ: How Embroidering Made Me a Better Writer

Do you have a special memory of your grandparents? Please share it with me in the comments section below!

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