Batasha, Gupchup and Golgappa

My dadi called it gupchup,

My nani called it batasha,

And I,

I am the girl with big eyes that go red

And a small mouth that opens too wide

While having the very last golgappa

That’s on the plate, for me.
I still smell spices in my brain,

Alien to my mum’s modular kitchen

That could be only found

In the folds of a house 

That had outlived its age.

Just like my grandmas’ love

Carefully concealed under

The garbs of the wrinkles

That adorned their faces.
I still see them moving their hands,

Gesticulating every story of Ram or Krishna

That they told me

As they boiled raw mangoes

And crushed tamarind

In between stone slates,

To create the magical water,

That filled the space inside the puri

With the sweetness of their smiles

And sourness of their parting cries.
I still hear them humming,

Tunes of ancient lands,

While they roll and flatten the batter 

Into perfectly shaped circles.

The kitchen making batasha

Hums the tune of a man

Who bends down for those in need.

The kitchen making gupchup

Sings the song of a warrior woman

Returning from battle,undefeated.

In Summer breaks, nani taught me humbleness.

In Winter breaks, dadi taught me courage.
It’s been years,

That I forgot how to trace my steps

Back to heavens of my childhood.

So now,

When I want to go back,

I go out for a plate of golgappas.

And with the first gulp,

I am the same girl

With big eyes and a small mouth,

Who peeked into the kitchen

To always find her dadi with the gupchup

And her nani with the batasha.

Beaming at 

The courage 

And the humbleness.

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