Mint green cotton sari,

Fluttering in the humid air.

Last remnants of a monsoon rain,  

That departed not so long ago,  

Dripping from the slanted roof.

Drip, drip, drip - 

Interrupted by the occasional thud,

Of a coconut falling on the ground,

Disturbing the cow’s sleep.

Steamed appams, lingering smells,

Of fried fish in the air. 

I ate with my nose first, 

Then eyes, then mouth.

Summer was at its best,

When summer was with Ammuma.

Idling by the well, chasing roosters,

Skipping stones by the pond,

Catching the Sun and her flowers.

Ammuma’s voice echoing through,

The tapioca and rubber fields;

Tempting me with a pazhampori,

Bartering it for an oil head massage.

Summer was at its best,

When Summer was with Ammuma.

Days passed in satiated appetites,

And uninterrupted siestas; 

Nights passed in stories from the war,

Ammuma’s hugs for company.

Summer was at its best,

When it was 1998.

Nostalgia accompanies me as I travel, 

Back to a land I hadn’t been to,

In many years - those incomparable days.

To waking up to the sight, 

Of her frail figure in bangles,  

And mint green sari with golden borders,

Floating through the sultry air.

What would we not give,

To travel backwards in time;

To be our carefree selves,

And in no hurry to age.