Sunday, 19 July 2015

An Ode to Food

What a tragedy it is to have forgotten
The exquisite names of meals that had once
Rolled down my tongue, made my lips curl
Into a toothy grin, and how it had once made
My belly feel so full, I couldn’t care if my
Heart felt empty; these names seemed to have
Jumped off the edge of my brain- now all I
Know of food is rotis and curry, and dal, a
Little bit of dosa and idli; the menu of the
Chinese restaurant near my house, the fried
Delciousness can now only be found in the
Stains of my diary entries; and the utterly butterly
Punjabi paranthas that I could once eat
Four at a time, are such a distant memory;
The break up with that plate of momos, how
We once used to meet every day; there was once
Andhra pickle in my room, we had a date with
Rice and curd; once there was biryani with shahi
Paneer, we would just eat without saying a word;
Months back there was a home, the fridge always
Leaking with fruits, and cucumbers, and cheese
My favorite place in the house, it always had something
For me; how long has it been since we met
My dear gulab jamuns, and rasmalais, the kaju
Ki barfis with wedding cards, and the rasgulas
That were present all the time; there
Were once visits to nani’s house, and yes
She loves to feed- bhel puris and aloo chaats,
And her special bhindi; and now the loss of
Rajma being called 'razma', I could still deal with it
But they got the taste all wrong; There was once
A winter with nothing but green methi paranthas
mirchi ka aachaar, and malai;
but these days I eat only because
This woman needs to survive.

And ah, the whole world shall empathize
If by some tragedy I go deaf or dumb
But so few ever understand this loss
Of the taste-buds going numb.

P.s- When I called my mom up to recite this poem, she was eating a mango. What's a mango?

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