November 18, 2013


It was the smell of the Oriental Manuscript Library where my aunt used to work. As a child I have been there a few times, fascinated by tiny illegible scrawls on nearly crumbling Palmyra leaves. And the scent was of lemongrass. I have forgotten what scrolls I held in my tiny hands. But the smell never left me.

Many years later, when I was eating for a living and trying Thai cuisine for the first time, I encountered the fragrance again. In a small pot of tea, pale green in colour and poured into my dainty teacup, I had my tryst with lemongrass. And it made me happy, and I realized that memory is a lovely thing too, sometimes!


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Maira Gall