The rain and puli kanchi

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As the rains began to beat their tempo upon our roof, we gathered in appa’s rest room – always smelling of warm cheroot and coffee.

Appa would like on his easy-chair reading his Ananda Vikadan, while my brother Rajadurai, would lounge on his worn leather chair gazing out of the window, watching the falls from the leaves edging the verandah.

Just as I was about to stretch my hand out of the other window to reach for the rain, amma came in. “Puli kanchi!” she beamed. All action now. We moved to appa’s table as amma laid the kottangachi (half coconut shells polished to become bowls) of puli kanchi out for us.

“Ah,” said appa, raising the delightful bowl to his lips, “The rain and puli kanchi!” He sounds like a god drinking ambrosia.

We said nothing, as we allowed its warm, spicy, sour, hot comfort to warm our throats and move like a river down our stomachs. – S. Arumugam, Letters from Jaffna, as published in ‘Recipes of the Jaffna Tamils’, pg 24. #stories from home.

Photo credit:  A friend, Jaffna 2016

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