Saving a DIL


The fridge door opens
The girl is getting out the fish
Fish delights my toothless jaws
floundering in a sea of merciless solids

I hobble to the kitchen
Inspect the earthen vessel inside out
thoroughly disapproving its shape
though I vaguely recall buying it for her
She washes the fish
I stand resolutely at her elbow
trying to find a chink in the way her hands work

A smell of onions, garlic and ginger
sliced exactly the way I want them to be
bathing in measured tablespoons of hot coconut oil
creeps into my room

It warms my heart
More oil, red chilli powder, coriander, turmeric and kokum tipped in,
my empty mouth waters

At the table, the curry smokes away
impatient in its pot
a wide, brown mouth with several cigars

The tang and the fiery powders
team up in my rolled balls of rice
spicing my senses
yet doesn’t sweeten my face or words

I watch her carefully
weighing her faults and strengths
on the scales of my experience
She smiles at me, ladling it out
her expressions measured

Four slices later, I am full
I reprimand her for making an insipid curry
and take another helping
with my sacrificial sigh telling her
expensive fish cannot be allowed to go waste

Praising a daughter-in-law makes her lazy
my MIL used to say

©Reena Prasad

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2 thoughts on “Saving a DIL

  1. Such a succulent melange of culinary images that blend into your soulful writing and also brings to the readers your true essence as the homemaker, the daughter-in-law, the delightful humanist loving the nameless wonders of life!

    hugs and much love,
    Lopa.

    Like

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