Poetry Month: RECIPE

Dodda exasperates me,

Her idle hands itching to prepare delicacy,

My refusals, tossed into the trash,

Until I finally give in.

Off she goes,

With her osteoporotic knees

And determined mind,

To purchase half a kilo of fine rava,

A pitstop at chatty Cathy's

To notify my arrival

And she's back,

Panting for air,

Massaging her frail joints,

I berate her, for enduring unnecessary stress

She says she needed the exercise

To stay healthy.

Heading to the kitchen,

Boiling water on the left

And roasting fine rava on the right

She adds an extra tablespoon of sugar

To the boiling water,

Slowly stirring the saccharine syrup.

As faint smell of burnt rava

Envelopes the kitchen,

She realises she's forgotten about the rava

And they've overcooked,

But she doesn't give up,

Relentless, she mixes the burnt rava

And boiling saccharine syrup

Tosses cashews and raisins

Adds few spoons of ghee

And cardamom powder

Until its finally ready.

She profusely apologises

For adding cashews,

And over cooking the rava,

I take a bite,

Tell her it's alright

And her knees don't hurt anymore

Her lungs don't gasp for air

There's a smile on her face,

Twinkle in her eyes,

Happiness radiating off her,

For she seems to think she has fixed me,

With her overly sweet kesari bath

With cashews and raisins,

For a while, I believe it too.

-Rachana Bhat

Recipe to mend a broken heart


You have to add the bitter first.

I know, don't worry, trust me

It'll be good. It's my family recipe.

So chop the anxiety. Chop it fine.

Raw heart, bitten nails and

purple-headed lust.

Add one part acceptance.

No you can’t take that off

acceptance is the most important ingredient.

Next, add more than a pinch of trust.

Yes you are brokenhearted and trust

feels like stepping out onto a ledge

overlooking a deep, unknowable canyon,

with a blindfold. But trust you must

or you can't go forward

Trust has to be added, bit by bit

Add Trust wisely; mix it well. Taste.

Then, to round out the recipe a bit more,

add several tablespoons of

raucous laughter.

Laughter, like baking soda,

really helps to lighten things up.

Dont look at me with incredulity.

Yes, you heard that right.

Laughter can seem hard to find.

But it’s really there. Hunt.

Look for it inside those shelves

you locked. Once you add it

you'll see true magic as all sorts of

hormones spin and rise and air

the batter, making it fluffy.

And for the salt -- now don't forget the salt –

unlock your worn-out heart. Allow it to heave.

Mine out the saltiest tears. Add.

Let it sit for 20 minutes.

Gently toss it on high flames.

Test it with a toothpick.

If it's done it'll come out clean.

Now, don't eat it. Break into

small pieces.

Feed it to the birds.

-Vinitha

-Spadika



-Archana Vishwanath

-Rabab Nandarbarwala

-Ambreen Saniya's acrostic poem

Chutney


Women in our house

make the best chutney.

they handpick the most delicate

of the leaves first,

the small ones

still growing

like they were plucked out

soft at the age of 16.

they wash the leaves thoroughly

to the last traces

of any dirt or worms

like they were cleansed

of any dreams or ambitions

of becoming anything more

than a simple ingredient of a side serve.

next, they grind the leaves

with all their strength

into a homogenous mixture

like they were battered

to lose their own dimensions

into becoming a common consistency

which could be stirred again

if needed, with ease.

they then add all the

spices

water

and salt

like they were amalgated with

children

toil

and responsibilities

till they reach their point of satiety

which keeps on brimming up

because there is always room for more, right?

the men in our house

eat all their meals with the chutney

but don't notice it

until its not there anymore.

women in our house

make the best chutney

and when I ask them

how do they make it

they smile and tell me

it's made out of love.

women in our house

make the best chutney

and they garnish it with lies

which we could, otherwise, never digest.

-Videsha

-Nikita Biswal, inspired by a recipe for mawa madeleines in Pamela Timm's Uparwali Chai

Recipe For a Very Anxiety-Riddled Day


Cooking Time:

Anything from a few hours

to the entirety of your adolescence


Serves: 1 (Right)


Ingredients:


1 Sleepless Night

1 Pair of Lachrymal Glands That Do Not Do Their Job Anymore

1 Email Account That Floods Incessantly

A Few Sprigs of Your Most Defenseless Insecurities


Directions:


1.

Take a nap the day before

so that no sleep comes

to a boil until dawn rises


2.

Let the hustle and bustle

of the morning awaken you,

still broiling in exhaustion


3.

Assemble all your insecurities

and blanch them into

your scalding self-esteem


4.

Refresh them in the ice-cold

freshness of some dear friends’

love and laughter before you


5.

Churn said insecurities

with tears that said glands

did not produce


6.

Generously spread the paste

onto leftover rotis or

cardboard or whatever


7.

Stare at the screen

as the emails continue

to stew

-Dhruvi Modi

For your 13th birthday,

I am putting together the perfect cookbook,

Divided in ascending order

Of the density of memory per bite.


Time will teach you

How tastes can be

Potent time portals,

Nanima’s achaars,

My father’s favorite kuttu ka poori,

Made only on Diwali.


You’ll see how the

Passing down of recipes

From our mothers and aunts

Can retain the twinkle in their eyes

Just how your Nani gets

At the mention of mithai.


You will learn about the

Little pleasures of life

Bite-sized memories

That can turn a bad day around.


I hope you get to skip

The sad days section,

Ideas for self care meals,

To eat away insecurities

Too complex to digest.


I’ll even throw in the Survivor guide,

Meals for one

When you suddenly find yourself alone

For 45 days in a row,

And you’re too tired to Google

Easy recipes to survive a pandemic

-Rohini Kejriwal, a poem for my three-year-old niece

-Juilee

My recipe for a perfect relationship

is altered everytime I meet someone new

the first recipe was written

three years back

each time we fought

and I read it again, today,

Add a cup full of love

with two tablespoons each of

trust, undivided attention and happiness

with a pinch of quarells for taste

I knead the dough tightly

for the preheated oven is ready

forgetting to add insecurities, flaws and space

After forty five minutes

the love cookies are ready

tasteless and hard

which tells me

how effortful it is

to love

and bake it the right way.

-Anisha Bhargavaa


 
 

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