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indrani robbins

Festive Specials food indi

a payesh for shavuot

more than 3,300 years ago it is believed, god gave the torah to the jewish people on mount sinai. shavuot celebrates this deeply spiritual moment, with prayer, joy, gratitude, the reading of the commandments, and of course, food. in this case, food with dairy is customary. every year, just before shavuot, which is celebrated in may/june, my husband reminds me we must have lots of nice dairy dishes and desserts at home. clearly thoughts of buckets of ice cream, cheese,…

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Poetry

every now and then

my world collapses every now and then in the middle of an afternoon under an indolent sun when the air doesn’t move and the fan’s whir is a reminder of a thousand other worlds in a million different snapshots of time that linger as languid as the mid year sun minstrels of all my worlds that did sooner or later coalesce and cease the earth turns inexorable, programmed i am time’s magnet, how can it escape now it races, now…

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Rambles, Rhymes and Tales

rebellion

she’d not seen yellow butterflies take over the strawberry patch or the beds of nasturtiums, dog flowers, and phlox in the garden. she hadn’t run through yellow mustard fields under wide open skies, and felt the drag of wind in her hair, the rub and scratch of mustard greens on her arms and legs. she had never seen buttercups growing wild on a hillside. no, she’d never seen or felt any of that. she had lived all her life in…

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sarees tell stories

maharanis, construction workers, ics officers – a saree wearer’s longish ramble

six yards, five and a half metres, sometimes nine yards, of material. you have to wrap it around yourself. tuck here, tuck there, make the pleats, hold the pallu in place. it must be so difficult. one must sit still or move around in luxury cars or palanquins if one is in a saree. yet a saree has never demanded that. not really, not ever. in fact, if your palanquin is late, you can simply hitch up your saree a…

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Poetry

let it go

sometimes, i think, just let it go even if most certainly absolutely positively you know something someone’s saying is not quite so just let it go strange how those lines came out rhyming was it my thought or was it the timing you know, astrology and stuff that keep stymieing nuptials and negotiations, the stars and their diming? but really, just let it go even though reality may be different yet who’s to tell it is just so isn’t yours…

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indi

the replacement bug

we think we can replace everything. friends, pets, kidneys, countries, even computers. no, seriously. lost someone? broken something? house taken by a typhoon? mysterious ailment got your nine (or is it ten) year old imac? never mind. you can replace it. we even have a replacements.com. yeah, we’re not hanging around aching for things gone, shattered, destroyed by time… we’re going to replace it. like that. but what if you feel a sense of emptiness that refuses to budge even…

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Espresso Shots

nolen gur, balaclava, and bombs

“if you don’t want a child, just use nirodh!” said the ten year old. “nirodh!” there was awe and bursting curiosity in the nine year old’s voice as she struggled to keep her voice down, “what do you do with it not to have the baby?!” “shhhh! shh! mgpgmmph!” the other nine year old warned, index finger on his lips, he had just stuffed a whole nolen gurer kancha golla, that delightful sweet made of tender cottage cheese and new…

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Poetry

to an unknown soldier

my soldier, you are goneto paradise or beyond this universe’s realmi have no way of knowingthe aching winds bring news from farmy soldier, you are gone if there’s paradise on earth they saidit was there it was there it was therewho sent the minstrel of deathriding his bloodlust, detonating his carnagemy soldier, you are gone your child’s tears will soak through to her heartyour mother’s eyes will never know peaceyour father your son your country will weepyour instant will remain…

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Now Brewing

the other blue banarasi

in the middle of may or was it june last year, when a good friend and his wife invited us to their daughter’s wedding in kerala in december, and i said, yes, would love to come, i was fully prepared for an enchanting time in the deep green southern state which has an even deeper affair with red. today, the only state in the country with a communist government. i would be passing through bengaluru. when i lived there, it…

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