The familiar aluminium pressure cooker screaming in one, two and three whistles so that the neighbour knows that we are having rice again today for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Steamed grains or batter in one-portion moulds to accompany spicy traditions of chutneys stews lentils vegetable curries yoghurt.
I remember twisting my face and knotting my eyebrows in distaste at the ordinariness of the contents of my plate.
I saw American television shows while my mother-the cook-revisited her Indian cookbooks to pin clipped magazine articles that had a new twist on an old recipe.
She watched cooking shows and took notes to annotate later with experience.
I took note of every time she served me the same boiled, steamed, heaped food.
She tasted it before serving and added her pinch of concern and stirred in some creamy advice on a low flame.
It was tasty; it was never a matter of taste.
One day I couldn’t swallow it; the familiarity gagged me, and I was learning so much from television.
Those young people, looked cool and happy, over a cheesy stuffed-crust pizza and a litre of cola.
Those fashionable rich kids knew what it took to be universally accepted.
I refused her service and left her standing over the fire of adolescent rage to reheat memories of my swift childhood.
I left her for deep fried meals packaged with a smiley in front, branded to remind me of nursery rhymes and innocence.
I left her for a chicken in a bucket of future guilt and medical bills.
I left her for a whopping good time, caught in the delirium of backlit neon menus, designed from a focus group survey.
This is the first part of a poem I am working on, in Biblical Free Verse form. Where do you draw the line between prose and poetry? I am slowly learning.
Update: Click here for the second part of the poem.