The Mango Curry

The beauty that is

Mango Pulsedi 

This deserves the Nobel prize

My exclamation on a full stomach 

Holds truth and supercilious dreams

Not knowing if the Nobel even cares

Of raw love and hearth transmogrified into culinary excellence 

The Pulsedi is overwhelmingly beautiful 

I am simply overwhelmed 

The butteryness of the gravy 

The texture of the shred coconut 

The way the mango melts on my tongue

Unripened ones boiled in water and jaggery 

And I hope that the Gods are kind enough

That when I die, let it be after I have had my fill of this love

Let me have my last meal

In the plates of my home, scrubbed and shining 

After I have felt the spices that my grandmother kept in a tin box

My God,

Please be merciful 

If death must come at once

Please let it be now

Please let it be like this.

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.