Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
A Tale of Two Kitchens
Grandpa was a gourmet, an expert on cooking with mangoes. Mangoes from everywhere in India arrived via the railroad. Grandma’s pantry was a mango factory. Our kitchen smelled like love stuffed into mangoes.
on the old phonograph—
the crackle of papadums
Back then, I had an ongoing romance with food. This was before I realized perfect women are supposed to sport perfectly small waists. How many things I wanted to eat. How many no-nos issued out of me . . .
on kapok clouds . . .
Housed now as I am in middle years, I have become the quintessential kigo-girl of the kitchen. I bring China, Italy, Spain, Gujarat, Kerala, France and even Swiss Muesli into my pantry. A world of acceptance has stamped itself around my middle.
the Indian summer
of his eyes —
a crinkled world map
Saigal: K.L. Saigal, a great singer from the black and white era of Bollywood.
Pappadums: something like nachos but made from lentils. Part of every south Indian meal.
Kapok: also called Silk Cotton in India. When the pods burst, it is almost like pollen in the air.