Monday, October 19, 2015

Forgetting the Taste of Muffins

9 Oct 2015:  Can you tear up if your father forgets the taste of muffins? 

I can. And I did. 

I teared up because it is someone like Anna who loves all things sweet. Because it is someone like Anna who often says, "If a dish has milk and sugar, it is bound to be tasty".

A few weeks ago, my husband and I finally managed to go on an 8-day vacation (the first time in 4 years), when my sister came to visit with my father.  

In one of my first few conversations with Anna on my return, he told me that he had not been out. So, I decided to take him with me while I completed chores on a Friday morning.  He walked in Aurobindo Place, while I went from shop to shop and quickly ticked things off my to-do list.
Barista at SDA, Opposite IIT Gate, Delhi
Picture from

When all to-do items were crossed out, I asked, "Anna, do you want to have Badam Milk here or coffee at the Barista opposite IIT gate?"

Anna takes a few minutes to ponder on this very important of choices and decides got!  Off we go to the Barista.

As we sit down at Barista, I ask Anna what he would like to eat with his coffee.  Again, he thinks for a while and when there is no response, I reel out whats on the menu.  He latches on to "muffin" and then tells me that he would like it warmed up.

A muffin quartered
Picture from
I get us all coffee, and a warmed muffin. I cut the muffin into 4 pieces and give him two and his attendant one.  Anna bites into a quarter of muffin and says, "This muffin is good. It is sweet."  The phrase does not strike me as odd. He finishes his muffin with glee, forgetting his coffee.

I ask, "Anna, would you like the last piece of muffin?"

Anna, looking at the quarter piece of muffin longingly, "No-amma.  You have it."

I tell him he can have it and it is gleefully gobbled up.

On the way back home, Anna says, "The muffin was good." Then he pauses and adds, "You know I had forgotten what a muffin tastes like?"

I am perplexed. "Really, Anna?"

Anna responds with, "I thought muffins were savory.  Only when I bit into it did I realize that a muffin is sweet."

I tear up.

Forgetting the taste of something sweet, by a man who could find the best place to have coffee and sugary-sweet pastry, in a new city, within a matter of hours, must be unnerving for him.

I often joke that if we air-dropped Anna into the Sahara desert he would be able to smell out a place that serves coffee and cake!  Him forgetting the taste of muffins is ...... a little bit ...... kind-of devastating......


  1. I totally understand.. My mom started with dementia and no one could comprehend... Sense of smell is lost which is one the first symptoms. Emotions and past memory is intact, recent ones gone, at times if she had a meal half an hour ago, is also not remembered... Physically and emotionally all is ok with her..but...So its the care givers who have to understand and have patience. She keeps asking the same thing at times for days or many times a day.. And I keep my tone as normal as if answering her for the first time.. Just thinking that as a child I would have done the same thing and now it's the pay back time.. All the best to you and your Anna.

  2. Thank you for your comments and wishes. It is really difficult to watch your parent or parents go thru a degenerative disease.

  3. So today I ask my father if he will have coffee and muffin at Barista. He says yes to the coffee and no to the muffin. So I get him a soft cookie. He looks at it and asks, "Is this the mofer?" Now he has forgotten the name!!!