03 June 2011

Poem: Street food...

Written on 27 April 2011

Street food...

"... Is unhygienic, uncovered, and unappetizing",
Said mother, piling a mountain of rice
Onto a plate already sagging
Under the weight of healthily boring home-cooked food.
Grumbling, sniffing, dipping fingers in gingerly
I question...
"Why can't I have a snack instead?"

Crisp samosas are the best.
Waiting near the familiar heat of food
Sizzling in hot oil,
Eying the one that you will choose
If you had a choice,
Peering into the cart
At sauces and spices,
Making a mental note -
'Remember to ask for
The sweet and sour sauce.'

Jaws clench at the tangy thought
Of salted gooseberries
That bring back memories of
Dead-broke college days,
When a rupee earned you a bag of those sour gems
That set the saliva flowing 10 years later!

Corn on the cob
Luscious, spicy and crunchy
Satisfy the sharp hunger that comes
From trudging up the lanes
Of little towns on hill stations
In search of the perfect bargain
On a thick woolen sweater.

Ice cream in a park -
Dripping water and icicles that takes the place
Of real cream and flavor,
Cold chunks breaking off
Onto tongues,
Causing brain-freeze
And the rush of guilty pleasures
That mother would scorn at.

Vadais are good too.
Crisp exterior giving way
To warm dough and stray chilli bits,
The accompaniments as beckoning and cozy
As the kitchen at home...

The kitchen. Where mother
Would always have food on the table,
A soothing word
A listening ear
A tearing eye
A smiling face
For me, the wayward child,
Who ate too much street food...


dazzlingray said...

:-)......Nothing fills ur stomach and heart at the same time like the home-made food prepared by mother! Even a simply porridge tastes like sweet heaven when ur mom prepares it!

Jane Hamilton said...

Yeah, mom IS the best cook in the world, isn't she? A big shout out to all those people who realized that their mom is the BEST cook, while trying to swallow hostel food! Lift your hand if you get me!! :D

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