A glossy cookery book, not a grown man’s hunger,
That cast an irrational, evening spell
And set the strange chain reaction of
Wayward memories and misty images.
The aroma of onions rings fried to golden brown perfection,
That mixed with the special dough fermented overnight
To achieve a rare, fluffy consistency the following day.
The Interminable wait as I sneaked around our cramped kitchen
Eyeing the old-fashioned pressure pan on blazing blue gas flame,
Forgetting the coins on my carom board and my classroom buddies.
The steaming dish would finally arrive on Formica centre table;
Thick, round, sizzling, crunchy monster masala handwa loaf
Laden with dabs of melting butter and spices on top,
And a deep China saucer full of secret-recipe chutney,
Held with the wrinkled white hands and smile of my shiny-eyed mother.