Granny's kitchen

Have I ever told you
My granny had been a wonderful cook?
And how much we longed to go
Our vilage home where she had stayed
All the summers and rains and winters
Only to savour dishes she us served
And her lipsmacking delicacies;

When in the afternoon we got tired and hungry
Playing around, sweating and out of breath,
She would just give us a call
And we would run, scampering,

On brass plates came piping hot
Food made by her,
As we started gobbling hungry as we had been
She would sit beside us right on the floor
Sometimes fanning us if it were summer months,

I would try to sit near her
To get some extra helpings
A bit more than others,
A spoonful of pickle or a larger piece of fish,

She knew perhaps my hidden thoughts
And always remained so condescending,
Dropping a big dollop of tamarind sauce
As if by mistake on my plate,
And I would just smile at her
While she pressed her lips and winked at me,

Her kitchen was her place to pour
All her love and affection for us
Through her tireless works, her foods,

Her kitchen was her very own world
Filled with aroma of spices and dry fruits,
How many times we tried to steal
Cashew and nuts from containers there
And how many times were we caught
By her (for she would get the noise of utensils or jars moving in her kitchen
Even if she would be yards away),

Granny's kitchen was our place to be
At the evening too,
When we would gather there
To listen from her stories and tales
As she would spread a mat there
On the earthern floor for us to sit,

How many evenings had we spent there
Dozing off to sleep while listening to the adventures of the princes and kings,
She would then perhaps call our parents
To carry us off to bed,

And even while we were fast asleep
We would be dreaming of the kings and queens
And would be thinking that everything happened before us
Right there at the kitchen,
Sometimes in our sleep
We even got the smell of spices
And that unmistakable scent of granny-
Her betel leaves.


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