Aroma of childhood

broken chair

Image Credits: Fine Art Studio Online

They say you cannot go back in time. But whenever someone mentions “Banana Cake”, I am immediately transported to the late 90s. This was a time where baking cakes was fairly new and the only person who took the pains of baking a cake on every kid’s birthday was my grandmother.
The aroma of freshly baked banana cake was strong enough to make us look forward to celebrating birthdays. Because come on, who wanted to grow up? Who wanted to give away the life of video games in exchange of formal suits and ties?

There was never any elaborate preparation, the cake just magically popped up on the birthdays. As a kid we liked to think that there were little helpers or midgets that helped our grandmother bake. For we had always seen her sitting on a rickety old chair complaining of knee pain. She was a very conservative woman who found happiness in making “kulfi”, “gajar halwa” among other traditional Indian sweets. At least that’s what we assumed. When you are young, you assume the silliest things. It is only now that we realize why had metamorphosed into a lady who could bake. It was really the happiness of seeing her grand-kids gleefully smiling and jumping around her.

The rickety old chair sits alone in the corner waiting for its owner. If only the magical midgets could bring their rightful master back. The house sits empty waiting for the familiar fragrance to fill the air once again. The empty pots, oven and me wonder if only we could spend another day with her, learn all the recipes and just hear her hum the most wonderful songs.

Now that she is no more, every birthday celebration seems incomplete. Everyone tries to add to the day by baking their own versions of the cake. It was only until recently that we came to a decision. No more undercooked or overcooked flavourless cake. The memories of banana cake need to be guarded closely.

Now birthdays and other special occasions are celebrated by pre-ordering the cakes. With the option of customizing to our own will makes the day even more special.

Maybe the midgets have evolved into bakers who have a bit of my grandmother’s magic.

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