when amma makes sambar
there is a part of me that hugs her
silently, quietly thanking her
for never letting the aromas
of my childhood leave home
even after i started working.
on the first day,
the sambar is generously poured over
an equally generous serving of rice, with
beans or cabbage upperi sitting neglected.
the achaar is forgotten too.
rice. sambar. pappadum.
the trifecta is enough for a lunch
that pales everything else in comparison.
not many know that sambar tastes better
later that day, then the next day,
and the next day and if there’s any left
for day 4, then then too.
with rice, dosa and chappati.
at least that’s how amma makes sambar.
every spoonful, every bite.
every day and every night.
comfort has its way of coming over,
uninvited, but definitely not unwelcome.
it's almost like it knows when it’s needed
the husband made sambar today.
lunch was just like at amma’s.
dosa for dinner.
i wonder if the feeling will continue.
The language of comfort
Does not sit well on my tongue,
I am inept at speaking it,
And even the words that I know,
The tone isn’t right as well
It is shrill at times,
And at others, it comes out as a plea,
Both unlike the melody
In which some sing its song.
But I don’t give up,
That’s one thing I admire about me,
I let my body trust me enough
To show me where it hurts,
Pain doesn’t end, but suffering does,
And my body is just waiting
For me to learn the difference.
arms slipping around me,
a beloved's embrace, some sort of
celestial alignment, glimpse
of cool shade on a hot day
washes away all sorrow,
every knot of tension
that plagues my weary body
in my beloved's arms,
Comfort is two hands wrapped
around you when you’re having
an anxiety attack in the middle of
the night and you just can’t breathe.
Comfort is the voice on your memos
that stops you from breaking down
at 8 am in the morning because
you forgot to iron your tshirt,
so you’re a failure in life.
Comfort is the smile that
plays hide and seek with your brain
when you’re baking cookies and
figuring out the recipe with
flour on your face.
Comfort is the playlist you throw on loop
When you’re cleaning your room
Because you can’t bear to have
Another messed up thing in your life.
Comfort is everything you can think of
But how long will it take
For you to realise
That comfort can be your two hands
Wrapped around yourself
Your own voice calming in your head
Your own smile proud of yourself
Your words of encouragement
Keeping you up all day.
Giving you a reason to survive.
You. You give yourself comfort.
How long will it take
For you to realise
That comfort can be you?
A deckchair or hammock
A settee of chair
Lying in the long grass
As the wind plays with your hair
A pillow made with feathers
A mattress made of stone
Or a sleeping bag in the desert
Perceptions are our own
We all have our on feeling
What we see as luxury
You may love a 5 star hotel
But it’s never home to me
Because this is more than fittings
That fill the room you stay
It is as much about your mental being
A sense all’s going your way
So I would take an ancient bus
On a rough and winding road
To a remote and rustic tranquil place
Where my mind I can unload.
Running hot water’s not a prerequisite
And I’ll sleep gladly on the floor
I just crave freedom from the chaos of life
When I open up the door.
The only solace I knew
was through words
on paper, in songs
in Rahel's ramblings
and in Estha's silence.
But then you arrive-
like a tranquil God amidst a storm surge
You, my God of small things
You, my God of losses
You arrive and everything shifts
Solace now has marble arms
and ocean eyes,
a voice that reminds me of thunderbolts,
it's sweaty nights on river banks.
Velutha, if love isn't enough
bury me here
in a fistful of sand you stepped on-
on this boat shaped land we lived on.
Or let me drown
in this river you have called your home.
In the feeble moments of our end
let me forget everything, but you and this water.
But if love is enough,
enough for us to live
enough for others to let us live,
then let me count the sand you stepped on,
and build a boat shaped castle.
Let me make this river my home.
In the moments of a new beginning
let me put a rose on my hair
and wait for you at the doorstep.
Velutha, if love is enough
I wait for you,
I wait for our Tomorrow. .
Trembling on the banks of Meenachal,
Yours always, -
comfort turns into
discomfort as April arrives
leaving March behind