Netra’s eyes welled up with tears.
She couldn’t understand the questions in front of her. She’d been studying for 4 hours and nothing seemed to make sense anymore. Putting her head down, she shed large, heavy drops that made the ink on the paper run together.
A soft hand stroked her head and she looked up to see Ammamma’s wizened face gazing at her.
What’s the trouble, Netra-mma? Her voice was tender, like the cooing of a bird.
“I can’t do it anymore, Ammamma. I don’t understand these questions. What do I do?”
Ah, you need Ammamma’s special memory drink. Come, I will make it for you.
Eyes widening, Netra got up and trooped behind her to the kitchen. Hitching herself up on the counter, she crossed her legs and watched as Ammamma slowly put ingredients together.
Milk, water, ginger, tea leaves, sugar, cardamom, a hint of cloves- they all began to simmer on the stove, giving off a warm aroma that filled the kitchen. Netra closed her eyes and savoured the smell. It was heady in a non-intoxicating way.
“Here, Netramma. Drink this. Your brain will work better.”
Taking one sip, Netra smiled and said, ‘It’s just tea, Ammamma.’
“No, it looks like tea. But it’s my magic exam drink. One sip of this and every problem becomes easy to solve. Try it.”
An hour later, Netra smiled in delight. ‘Ammamma, you’re a genius! How did you know that would work?’
Ammamma merely smiled, tapped her forehead and winked, ‘Magic.’
Day 11 of writing daily in 2018.