Browsing Tag

memory

Espresso Shots

the red oxide floor

it looked like it was going to rain. flashes of lightning lit up the frosted window pane every now and then. the quiet but ominous rumbling of thunder could be heard, approaching. deepa typed away, her mind suffused with a world she had been trying to find words for the entire day. her fingers moved swiftly over the keypad, then halted as the letters began to form a word. no, it wasn’t right, it didn’t say what she was trying…

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food

if winter comes, can motorer kochuri be far behind

food is so much about memory, isn’t it? i can’t even hear the words “motorer kochuri” without thinking of my mother. my mother was not a great cook, in fact she was never too keen to visit the kitchen. she had, however, the most discerning sense of taste and understanding of the various stages of cooking. she was particular about the spices and condiments she believed a dish called for. the balance of ingredients was important, getting the right inflection…

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Espresso Shots

triptych

the fan fell on pishima’s head on monday. everyone remembered it was a monday because shome was on a fast. pishima always made fresh shondesh for shome with cottage cheese and a little sugar when he fasted. she flavoured the shondesh with lemon juice sometimes, or plain new date jaggery if it was winter. sometimes she added a segment or two of orange, after carefully removing the skin, pith, and seeds, of course. when the weather got warm, she sprinkled…

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indi

on seeing facebook and remembering my grandmother

there was no facebook in my grandmother’s time. when she made batches of a hundred pantuas, no one quickly went and took pictures on their iphone and posted it on fb. there was no iphone too then. pantua, in case you’ve never had of it, is this delightful bengali mishti or sweet. it’s a lot like gulab jamun, but it isn’t that ubiquitous dessert. pantua is made mainly of chhana or cottage cheese, i.e. paneer… with a bit of khoya…

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Espresso Shots

pickle

“what’s that smell?” ena said with a grimace and looked around. rosy paused in her tracks and sniffed. “where? what smell?” she said, not being able to detect any odour, good or bad. ena shook her head and looked around, then she exclaimed impatiently, “that horrible smell! don’t tell me you can’t get it… where is it coming from?” rosy brought the plate full of pickle up to her nose and sniffed, “nah, it’s not from here!” she said. “of course,…

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Film

woman in gold… a reverie

the woman was beautiful. her bearing was regal, almost aloof, her facial features fine and strong. my eyes fell on the splendid yet jaunty diamond choker on her long stately neck and i almost sighed, but what was that quiet in her eyes and that longing for something afar? i’d gone to see woman in gold without knowing anything about it, without reading reviews or hearing friends discuss. i am glad i did for that way there were no preconceived…

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road to singapore

the last kampong

kampong. i’d never heard the word till i came to singapore. but in the last eighteen years i’ve heard it and what it means so often, feels like it’s part of my memory too. “you live in jalan lim tai see, ah ? last time it was malay kampong, lah.” “these days no one knows their neighbours, leh… not like kampong last time.” “nostalgia for kampong spirit.” “oh, indi, kampong days were fun… real fun… we used to climb up…

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sarees tell stories

that combination

  kanjeevaram silks are known for their combinations… the body and border clash and contrast. usually its about the colours. their richness, that depth that you can’t quite catch and explain in mere words. this one’s combination had me standing rapt before the shelf at ambara, this lovely boutique right by my friend’s place in bangalore. of course, we had rushed to shop the moment i’d arrived. i had several sarees from here thanks to my friend who tolerates my…

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sarees tell stories

time for a lal benaroshi

i was pretty young, six or seven i think, when i decided i’d wear my mother’s wedding saree when i got married. it was of course a lal benaroshi as bengali brides have worn at their weddings for years perhaps centuries… a red banarasi saree from varanasi where beautiful sarees are made with fine gold and silver and silk thread work, where the ganga flows deep and wide and shining with tales, where bulls charge you in narrow lanes  with…

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