I caught my daughter in my pantry with her chubby little hands in the sugar container, her face looking like a frosted cake in a sweet-inundated party.
As I lunged forward to halt further the disaster by spillage, a memory flashed into my mind about another pair of chubby little hands clutching a fist full of sugar and gorging it, like a starved kitten on a diet.
Mine, of course. I remember one of my favorite hideouts in the ancient, crumbling palatial home- A small, air-tight, cool room next to the kitchen where my Aaya (maternal grandmother)stored de-seeded tamarinds, salted limes, freshly ground sambhar powder and my personal favorite, dried mango strips.
And the sugar! Ah, the wonder of sparkling granules, slipping through my fingers like roughened sand, and the sweet, sweet taste, away from watchful eyes and scolding lips.
My mother would twist my ears and drag me out, yelling about stomach cramps and imparting her extensive knowledge about sugarcane plants growing outta stomach from the 'sugar-seeds'. Even the possibility of this weirdo plant sprouting leaves from my lips didn't daunt me.
Upon mother's request, my grandmother started carrying the key on her at all times to thwarted me. I started fervently wishing for the moments when she would suddenly stand in the middle of the room, clear her throat a couple of times, and announce to all and sundry that she was going to the rest room. Then she would add that she was afraid the keys would fall into oblivion, so she was leaving them on the armoire. I would wait with bated breath till I saw her amble away and then rush for the key to my personalized wonderland.
In the infallible ignorance of my youth, I thought she was daft- Did she think I was a baby who wouldn't understand her or be unable to reach the keys?
But she was one smart cookie. Thus I had my many moments of rebellion and numerous tastes of unadulterated fun...Err, sugar.
So, instead of admonishing my daughter, I took a step back, and let her make a memory of her childhood, to last a lifetime.