Women in My Family, The M Word and Almonds

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Women in My Family 

Women in my family,
are all great cooks.
They are also very sad,
drowning in the tragedies of marriage
And family.
They say food made with love tastes best.
But food made in sorrow,
Must be a trade secret.
Salts of pain soaked overnight,
Must’ve entered my daal and roti,
Served by my mum’s soft ghee hands
and red onion eyes,
at least two times a day,
It is also a way to make your skin glow.
I know.
I have inherited her spice box,
And often look for my share of misfortune,
At the bottom of the tin.
It’s only a matter of time that it arrives,
How could it not?

The M Word

My elders are an insecure bunch,
Flashing their list of insurance schemes, 
Gold inside bank lockers, 
And Adani stock options for the extreme. 
My nana had a dream that 
I am in love with a Muslim boy. 
They dole out investment advice, 
With fresh fruits to me. 
The best kind of indemnity is timely marriage 
and two babies by thirty-three,
with a rich ambitious Hindu boy. 
We’re okay if he is not upper caste, 
As long as he is not, you know,
The M word.

My elders have managed to infiltrate
My personal dreams like an insurgency,
Of betrayal by the boyfriend 
Who would rather marry a girl 
who wants to marry. 
My Nani even encouraged my cat
To tell me in human words sadly, 
she shall never have a baby brother,
if I don’t secure my ovaries in holy matrimony. 
I wake up thankfully,
What a weird dream,
And ask my love sleeping peacefully next to me,
If he’d marry me
So that I can get some sleep. 

It’s the Almonds

Pee on a stick at your parent’s 
House is a public affair 
Invariably my mother finds out 
the unusual contents of the bin.
What is with women and rags?
A look on her face of mischief,
Confusion and sadness beams in the living room.
As she hands me extra almonds for the baby.
“I hope you are not pregnant,” she says.
I eat the soaked nuts for security and act appalled
At myself for doing this here and her 
For assuming my position on babies. 
I chew on and spew notes on privacy, 
Demanding secrecy and advice,
What do unhinged pregnant women do?
They eat almonds and pray
For happy endings. 
I run to the bathroom and discover, 
My period arriving comically. 
Mom says it’s the almonds. 

Directors Photo

Tanvi Jadwani

Tanvi began her writing journey with poetry, but journalism school sucked it out of her. It has taken her many years to unlearn the gimmicks of formal education and is only now emerging as the person she likes being. She paints, writes for the screen, befriends strangers, and truly struggles to hold on to a job. She is a blahcksheep in every sense, marching to the beats of her own drums, and pissing a whole generation of people off. 


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