best roulette numbers to play I am not a nostalgic ‘those were the days’ kind of person and am as committed to living in and loving the present as I did each day in the past. My ‘days of yore’ is a repository of memories stored in receptacles which are labelled, the good and the bad, from which I draw comfort and strength, respectively. Nothing more, nothing less. While there is an absence of a longing to re-live ‘those days’, fond re-visits are made when something today reminds of a version a few decades ago. Yesterday, Mum asked me to cook some very humble Anglo-Indian fare – pepper water, dholl mash and fried fish and this took me back to the Maclure home in Villupuram. An hour’s drive from Pondicherry, Villupuram was a large Anglo-Indian hub and a place to be for weddings and dances. On many an occasion, it was just Nana, Hayley and I who would make the trip there and sojourn at the Maclures. We, as kids, just loved the visits – the long path way into their home with a tree on either side (under which Hayley would patiently wait, broom in hand, for a leaf to fall so that she could sweep up – yes she found it a very fulfilling exercise ), the large hall where Judy and Rodney practised their jive moves to exhibit at the event in the evening ( and wow, they were good), Aunty Pam at her sewing machine between the kitchen and dining room (she turned out amazing outfits), Uncle Stan coming back from work and greeting us warmly, and Jenny, who most obligingly gallivanted with me around the neighbourhood. In the afternoons or the night, as the case may be, we were the happiest if the meal consisted of pepper water, dholl mash and fried fish or beef fry. It was something that was made in our own home too, but food always tastes better from someone else’s kitchen – so Hayley and I would sit at the table and feast like starved Oliver Twists much to the embarrassment of dear old Nan. Hence, Mum’s request to which I acquiesced occasioned happy memories and when I returned in the evening, she made it a point to tell me how much she had enjoyed her lunch. But, Aunty Pam, if you are reading this, I want you to know that my memory of what you laid out for us, is way far tastier than what I serve out today. Thank you for those very many happy days when you opened your home, heart and the much appreciated kitchen to us.