The Two Kitchens

Updated: May 2



In the eternal war between The mother's side of the family, And the father's side of the family, Somehow magically, almost always, It is the mother's side that Takes away the invisible trophy That a child is expected to present, And like most children, My trophy went to my mother's mother; So that meant all the long holidays Were to be spent with my Nani, Laying down my head in her lap, As she would tell me stories about Tigers and lions and kings and queens And how Krishna defeated Bakasura, And on evenings, she would sit on the floor, With flour, shredded coconut, Jaggery and cheese curd, Kneading spheres of Manda Pitha With not just perfection but with Every ounce of love she could pour Because that was the secret ingredient That she added in everything she cooked; And Sundays were for cooking Rohu, Because that was the only fish I ate, So she would carefully change the sides of The trunk of the fish till it turned Golden and crisp, just the way I liked; And on days when she visited us instead, She would pack bags and bags of Manda Pitha and Rasgullas And all the sweets that she knew I loved, And then one day like her, Her kitchen vanished from our lives too. My Dadi's kitchen on the other hand, Looked a bit more different - It resembled any other kitchen, Except that it was a doppelganger; Her kitchen always had cures for me - Haldi to brighten my complexion, Honey and cinnamon to "get rid" of my acne, Bananas for increasing my height, And castor oil for my hair volume, All the while subtly hinting That I would never be good, Enough, or good enough, Perhaps that's why whenever I see Dadi, I make sure that My appetite is filled to the brim, So she doesn't feel the need to change me, In the name of feeding me.


//NaPoWriMo, Day 24

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