Tuesday, April 4

Smiley Faces

A small room.
An absurdly minuscule kitchen.
Rows of vessels of different textures winking in the light.
Barani jars of mango pickles made in 4 ways.
Cylindrical aluminium patrams packed with the summer's quota of vadaam.
Stainless steel ones, some of which reveal home-made thattai, thengoyl and cheedai, if you're lucky. 
A stone grinder-mortar-pestle that weighs a ton and hasn't moved in years.
An ancient fridge in repose.
A large drum of water.
The floor of greenish tile.

On which a little boy sits cross-legged.
The small plate before him full of ice-cold mor-chadam.
Separated into morsels with his fingers.
Scooped up and held aloft. Waiting.
For his grandmother to smile and churn the vettal-koyambu with a karandi.
And let a few drops fall into the waiting palm.
Over and over.

What do we call this confluence of hot & cold, tangy & mild, solid & liquid?
This quiet intimacy of a mealtime ritual between a pati and her peran.
Every moment as delicious as the next.

A childhood pleasure. 
   
Song for the moment: Crazy - Ray Lamontagne (Original by Gnarls Barkley)