My growing-up world is a map of aromas –
as my little snub nose lifts like a sniffer dog’s
as my beady eyes interrogate the shelves
as my chubby fingers reach out to touch –
cumin, paprika, star anise, cinnamon, cardamom, coriander garam masala…
the list is never ending and exotic to my ears
my heart explodes and my mouth waters in anticipation
at the glories that will dance on my tongue – later
the kitchen will swell with steam and spatter
the pots will bubble, burping explosions of delight into the air
meat will sizzle, onions will sweat, my skin will prickle
and later, much later, so very, very much later
chapati and naan will wipe our plates clean
raita will soothe our burning tongues
and i will save my helping of sukha aloo to the very last
because they are my favourite thing of all
Tonight, Grace, our lovely host over at the dVerse pub, invites us to write about scents, aromas, and evoke emotions. For me, the choice was obvious – food!
Oh what a joyous write this was for me, a real step back in time to my childhood of 1970s Birmingham! We lived not too far from a wondrous street called Ladypool Road in Sparkbrook (in the midst of the Balti Triangle), which was an absolute delight to anyone who wanted – no, needed – to buy herbs, spices and other necessary foodstuffs to create real authentic cuisine from around the world (there were and still are brilliant restaurants there too). From my memory, we went there to buy food to make curries – my step-dad would take over the kitchen and create absolutely wonderful food (I hope you can tell I loved it!).
My mum and step-dad took me to an Indian restaurant when I was little (back in the days of the flock wallpaper) – the Indian waiters were all amazed to see a little white girl eat proper curry! I felt very proud of my apparent prowess! I loved being part of the multi-cultural city where I grew up. It was a fantastic education in its own right.
Please do join in dVerse Poetics before the two week summer break – or if you’re feeling shy, at least come and enjoy the wonderful selection of poetry I know you will find there!