Google Kanmani

Text and photographs by Janaki Sabesh


It’s 6.03 am. Her eyes open and survey the room. She glances at the clock and slowly gets up.

Opening the door of her room, she peeps out.

Her eyes search for the bearer of her elixir, her first morning coffee. Me. And I am nowhere to be found.

She sighs, and trudges back to her room.


Just then, she hears the whistle of the milk cooker. She smiles. “Confirmed. Coffee will be on its way soon.” She settles down in her chair, and waits for me.

I enter the room with her piping hot kaapi, and she smiles, cheek to cheek.

“Good morning!” she says, taking the coffee from me. “Thank you, kutty. Did you have your coffee?”

Meet Seethalakshmy Subramaniam, my 91-year mother-in-law. I call her Athai. A woman of routine, her days have to begin with coffee. And music, specifically Dr. MLV’s music on her CD-cum-cassette player that she always keeps cued and ready to play the previous night.Just then, she hears the whistle of the milk cooker. She smiles. “Confirmed. Coffee will be on its way soon.” She settles down in her chair, and waits for me.

I enter the room with her piping hot kaapi, and she smiles, cheek to cheek.

“Good morning!” she says, taking the coffee from me. “Thank you, kutty. Did you have your coffee?”

Meet Seethalakshmy Subramaniam, my 91-year mother-in-law. I call her Athai. A woman of routine, her days have to begin with coffee. And music, specifically Dr. MLV’s music on her CD-cum-cassette player that she always keeps cued and ready to play the previous night.

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Profile Shots Photographed by Vidhyalakshmi Vijaykumar

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