Childhood Revisited

All those simple memories

Of our childhood

Still walk hand-in-hand

To wake up

At chance encounters.

Little feet, little legs-

That’s what we had 

In those elementary years

When we walked back

To our separate homes.

Spread across the street,

We walked abreast 

In those days

Of scant traffic.

Those were innocent days

Of no warped thought

And only straight talks

In the purity of childhood.

Decades later, I met

One of these walkers!

It was an unexpected

And arresting moment!

Eyes brimming

With joyful tears,

Hand over hand 

In a warm clasp,

We sharied those bygone days

In an affecting moment.

Words had no place ,

But our glances spoke

Of what we knew

Was pure without deceit

In that incandescent,

But innocent moment !

A Food I long for

One food I wish to have I will never have now that its creator is no more.  My Mother had a delicious preparation of pearl spot fish or chromide.  I did not pay attention in those days to anything in a kitchen. But the taste of this dish always lingers.

Unfortunately,  I do not know the recipe.  That is written in my mother’s brain and taste buds.  It is known as “karimeen pollichchathu”.  The seasoning is a blend of  onion, garlic, ginger, green chilies, coconut milk, vinegar and salt.  Something else must be there too. All these are added at different stages of sauteeing in coconut oil. The mixture covers the scaled and cleaned fish and the whole thing is wrapped around by banana leaf and cooked gently in an earthenware pan. It has a mothwatering aroma.  Eating this is a hedonistic experience.  But one has to be careful in eating this because there are many bones.  We ate this with fingers to remove the bones. It goes well with rice and other Kerala vegetable dishes.

My Keralam, My Heritage

The frothy crests from the Arabian Sea ride the surging waves and lash the sandy shores to expire later in a last hiss. The sounding cataracts rush down in relentless falls, foaming and spraying the lush greenery that abounds in their environs. The rhythm of the ‘panchavaadyam’ and ‘shingaary melam” resonate in the air and syncopate with my heartbeats. The evening breeze is cooled by the fragrance of jasmines that gleam in the waning twilight. The coconut fronds sway under the haunting moon, forming a serrated canopy and the mango trees bloom into creamy pagodas with promises of delectable fruits. And I dream, “I am home”.

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