Maambazha MorkuzhambuI place a bowl of Palakkad summer on the table on a December-dark day in my Delhi home. Golden coconut gravy, mango-sweet and yoghurt-tangy punctuated by cubes of juicy pumpkin, and dotted with mustard seeds just calmed after angrily popping in the kadhai. Fiery red chilli preening unlike its unassuming green cousins crushed, but spirit intact. The palate relives its childhood, this rice-soaked magic this 'maambazha morkuzhambu'. I say it aloud, the 'zh' sounds rolling off the tongue. ***
My perchAtop my perch I watch men, women, children making their way unaware of how they appear From atop my perch little dots they are sprouting arms, legs faces, expressions slowly, as they advance until all I see is the top of their domes Until they start slowly fading away From atop my perch I wonder If there's someone up there watching me as I watch ***
WindowIt was her window to the world A nondescript, beige window, made entirely of wood Not for it the luxury of glazing, for who had the means to replace broken panes? The only window in that 10×10 home, it was to this little girl all that she couldn't find within. In the few minutes before leaving for school, as Amma plaited her long, unruly hair, taming it with a generous handful of coconut oil, she looked out the window at the kitchen of the mithai shop in the next building. The kneading, rolling and setting out of pedhas on square aluminium trays They cost 10 paise each, the exact same amount of her daily allowance And as she watched, she nearly chose the one she'd pick up on the way to her bus-stop. These were the few precious moments she had, looking out the window. When she returned from school, it was time for it to stay shut. For, as the day wore on, the eyes that could look in were not nearly as innocent as those that fondly looked out. ***
Dreamer, reluctant Delhiite, French teacher, student of Spanish and lover of languages, Sudha is passionate about writing and enchanted by how words can make an impact. Professionally she has donned different hats, that of banker, accountant, teacher, etc. Married, and a mother of two, she currently freelances and writes.
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