Tuesday, November 25, 2014

'Smell Spells' in North East Review

Here is 'Smell Spells', published in the North East Review on Diwali day.

Smell Spells

The polite fragrance of elaichi
is the dining room visitor perfume
the tangy amchur remembers
the green mango before its demise
the heeng invades all your senses
but the laung reveals its sharpness
only to the tongue
the ajwain is strong and yet prim
like a school mistress.
the dried methi seeds tell you the story
of how the sun dried the green fields
the abrupt saunf bids goodbye to the guests
the boring old jeera screams everydayness
and the tej patta is what everyone uses
but secretly hates
In a North Indian kitchen, I drown myself in Malabar.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

'Creativity' and 'Smell Spells'

Here is 'Creativity', published in Allegro

Fall in love with someone
From another culture.
Be swept off your feet and let this
Fascination transform you.
Do not treat the other
As other. Do not judge in haste.
Begin to understand, perhaps even
Become the other.
Speak their language. Learn
The names of their rivers, dance
To their festivals and music,
Dress like them, discover their food,
Tattoo them on your skin.
Be vulnerable. Let the other
Ravage you, give them the power
To destroy you. Open yourself
To translation. In that living shattering
evolving heartbreaking accepting space
lies creativity.

Read 'Smell Spells' published in the Xarodiya (winter) issue of The North East Review here.