My grandmother’s food

Four feverish days with head tossing restlessly

In the hollow of a pillow

Were finally over.

I felt the gentle pangs of hunger

Rumbling in my stomach.

I slowly dragged my steps to my grandmother’s

Little house which was next to ours.

Inside the cavenous kitchen,

My grandmother was trying to light the damp wood.

She poured some kerosene on the wood

And struck the matchstick.

The fire burst out like lightning.

She placed the kettle of water on top.

The kettle was as battered ,

As encrusted as some old item

Dug out by an archaeological team.

She put both her hands on her knees

And was waiting for the water to boil.

Two o’clock was my grandfather’s tea time.

I could hear his clip-clop sandals

Slapping along the road.

Reaching home, he would sit on his huge armchair

Under the verandah and wait for his tea.

Touching my grandmother’s shoulder, I said,

‘Dadi, I am hungry.’

My dadi rose up immediately

And looking at me with raised eyebrows,

She said, ‘There is some hot rice and fried brinjals,

Would you like to eat some?’

I simply nodded my head.

Wiping the beads of sweat on my forehead,

With the back of my hand,

I said something in a low faltering tones.

In an old aluminium plate

With five or six tiny holes at the bottom,

My dadi served me the hot steaming food.

The rice had a rich flavor

And the brinjals were glistening,

Just drained from hot oil.

I ate my food ravenously

And felt freshened and invigorated.

Sixty years have elapsed since I ate my dadi’s food.

Yet, sometimes, when I am recovering

From fever or some other ailment,

That afflicts me or weakens me,

And I feel like eating something,

My dadi’s plate of food flashes to my mind

And my mouth waters beyond control.

pramila khadun

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About pramilakhadun

I am the holder of a Bsc degree in Food and Nutrition from S.N.D.T University,Pune,India.Have taught this subject in a private institution for almost thirty-five years.Currently, I am retired and travel alot with my husband Raj, daughters Dr Rajnee and Priyum and son Airline Captain.Had my first book of poetry published by Minerva press, London and other two in Mauritius.More coming soon.I love poetry and enjoy reading poems of poets across the world and I feel Destiny Poets is the right place for me.

10 thoughts on “My grandmother’s food

  1. Amita Paul

    This is a beautiful narration full of deep emotion reflecting lived reality and therefore it strikes an immediate chord with the reader. I loved the glistening brinjals .

    Reply
    1. pramilakhadun Post author

      As usual dear friend Amita, I love this great comment where words are aligned so beautifully in different colors.You made my day, especially as today is my birthday.

      Reply
    1. pramilakhadun Post author

      Thanks dear Sangeeta, I was such a poor girl and sometimes had so little food to eat. Sometimes, I would go looking for food at my grandmother’s place. That particular day, I was recovering from asthma and you can imagine my plight. That is why, that particular day along with so many others are still so vivid in my mind and all that pain and suffering has made of me a poet, a genuine one, so to say.

      Reply

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