Silent Cooking and Noisy Munching

When I came to my husband’s hometown

I saw for the first time old women with gagged mouths

cooking for the gods, in silence.


Their breath did not pollute the offerings,

nor their spittle desecrate the dishes

only their arms swayed and perhaps their eyeballs.

I thought how unlike the witches of Macbeth

they looked, for these women moved about with grace

their mind fine tuned to the Dhivya Prasadam.

Not any woman can cook for the gods.

One must be chaste and pure, like unadulterated ghee

boil like jaggery and rise like milk. In short,

it takes thirty years to graduate.


So for thirty years I have done my silent cooking

made manna with words and said simply

in my heart of hearts, eat god eat

line by line, crunchy words, palatable punctuations

tangy rhythms moulded with meaning, and

thoughts weaned in silence but spoken as poems.




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