"Most grandmothers love to cook. Not mine! My grandmother or Ammachy as I called her, liked the outdoors better. Even on hot afternoons when everyone else was taking a nap, she’d go to the backyard to pull out weeds or to kill a chicken. She rarely used the washing machine and instead, beat the life out of heavy paisley patterned bed sheets on the washing stone. She always had home remedies for everything – a mixture of ground nutmeg, yoghurt and sugar for a tummy ache, a slimy paste of hibiscus and black pepper leaves for healthy hair. Whenever she opened her cupboard, there was always that reassuring smell of starched pastel saris. Sometimes, I would help her fold the crispy, sun-dried saris and in the evenings, we’d sit by the kitchen steps and eat ripe mangosteens from the garden. This is probably one of my favourite memories of us. She also liked it when I painted her nails in outrageous colors like neon pink or fire engine red. She was a remarkable woman who was never afraid of anyone and did what she pleased."
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