24, Pattrachari Street, Kumbakonam. My great grandparents’ home is still very fresh in my memory. My great grandmother somehow made an impression on my 4 year old mind and left beautiful memories. I remember so well the house with her in the kitchen, the clear rays of sunshine sneaking through the parting in the bamboo roof, the smell of fresh curry leaves from the yard, the smoke from the large hot water pot by the well outside, making whistles out of leaves from the coconut tree, walking carefully through a yard of 57 coconut trees avoiding centipedes. You could look at pictures from years ago to bring back memories but what if there aren’t any? Our minds capture the smells and sounds so well that even today a similar smell can trigger a happy moment from over 40 years ago. As I try to recreate that home piece by piece with the images in my head, I so wish I could go back to that time and be 4 again. The life in 24 Pattrachair theru was uncomplicated. No luxuries to speak of, but none seemed necessary. All the vegetables were grown in that back yard or in the patch of farm land near by. Coconut oil was pressed once a month from the sun dried coconuts. We ate on banana leaves. A world with no plastic seems unthinkable these days. The grains were stored in the silo inside the home called kalanjiyam and ground into flour in a mortar next to it. By hand!  Everything was recycled and nothing went to waste. She used to feed so many kids from the Veda Patashala (a school for many underprivileged Brahmin children). Today, the home is gone and in its place is a “car-park area”. They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 🙁