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Rotis Served Hot

by Bakul Banerjee

There’s something delightful about consuming rotis hot and as and when they are made. Bakul Banerjee’s poem gives a glimpse of the world of a mother, her children and the rotis she makes for them.

Like million mothers around,
Roti, our daily bread, defined
my mother and her discipline.
As the strict ruler of the roost,
she took mental roll-calls.
“Present,” we announced
as we sat down at the table.
Rotis would not be made
until everybody was seated.

The old, indestructible table,
painted in color of lagoon blue
creaked often under the shadows
of pine trees hugging the hills.
The table swelled and made
less noise when the Monsoon
came to plains of east India.

Rotis, rolled out one by one
and roasted over the coal fire,
would puff out like footballs,
soon to collapse flat.
With bare but deft hands,
Ma would smear a smidgeon
of butter on them before
plopping them on our plates.

On special days, a bowl of
lamb curry would harmonize
with the Rotis to complete
a divine ensemble.

Award winning author and poet Bakul Banerjee, Ph.D. published her first volume of poems, titled “Synchronicity: Poems” in 2010. For the past fifteen years, her poems and stories appeared in several literary magazines and anthologies throughout U.S. and India. She lives near Chicago and received her Ph.D. degree in computational geophysics from The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland.
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