Hometown

Dark leaves rustle above my head 
I’m not there
But I’m there, almost
Eyes squint as I’m blinded by the sun 
That’s one thing the city and my childhood have in common

And the scent of mangoes 
And grass and soil
Overlap the scent of my sweat and turmoil 
Sitting in the commuter’s ride
I dream of hanging from old branches

There’s the hue of my home grown
Totapuri and Shahi and Alphonso
In a plastic packet 
Square in my hand 
Flat sugared slips of a fruit 
That’s only the fruit in color

And I taste my hometown 
In layers in my mouth 
I’m not there 
But I almost am.

Totapuri, Shahi and Alphonso are some of the types of Mangoes found in India

The sweet referred to here is known as Aam papad, it’s basically dried mango candy

R.S.

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