An Ode to the Gulab Jamun

by Parth Pandya

Parth Pandya writes an ode to one of the most common yet most loved Indian sweets, his own favourite, the Gulab Jamun.

There you are, just a foot away from my restraint
You, floating like heaven suspended
Imperfectly spherical, like a hand-crafted ball of snow
Light as the feathers of an Indian bustard
Smooth like the marble of the Taj
Levitating, like a yogi in bliss

Caressed, cajoled, nourished,
by the sweet comfort of sugar syrup
Indeed, there you are, an orb ordained
Shades of red in a sea of brown
Like the glorious sun, overcooked

You are but a sweet, they say
A dessert just like any other
A messenger of decay, a sweet harbinger of death

To them I say, that is not true
For you are not a mere gulab jamun
You are the memory of my mother’s love,
A treat of joy for my limited glory,
A taste of the homes I have been in,
The shortest path to my heart,
An adjective I use to describe my children.

When all else fails and the day is
But another one in a quotidian life
You are my guiltless pleasure
My one act of bravery
That one thing I steal
From the confines of the refrigerator
When the night has gone to sleep

There you are, my sweet taste of heaven,
waiting to be consumed,
Completely missing the irony;
You have already consumed me!

Parth Pandya moonlights as a writer even as he spends his day creating software and evenings raising his two sons to be articulate, model citizens who like Tendulkar and Mohammad Rafi. He has been regularly published in forums such as Spark, OneFortyFiction and Every Day Poets. Taking his passion a step further, he wrote his first book ‘r2i dreams’, a tale of Indian immigrants as they work through the quintessential dilemma, ‘for here or to go?’ You can know more about the book at
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