Voice of an Expat


The smell of boiling rice from the kitchen
reminds me of you Ma,
Now I’m recalling the times we sat together
And how you served us lunch from the little
you cooked.

Coming home to this fancy apartment in the rain
reminds me of our little house,
You and I going around fetching pots
to collect the leaking water 
while little sister held your saree
because she feared thunder.

Here when my lady stops talking to me for 
a mistake I have not done,
I remember you;
How forbearing you were in handling Dad
even at his worst.

On sick days when the little one wants to play
and I can’t,
I remember
How on your ailing days you ran around
to keep us happy and engaged.

It’s not the same Ma,
Hearing your voice over the phone
Or watching you fake a smile at me on the screen
When truly I want to be there with you-
My head on your cosy lap
That had always solved me my quandaries.

If I could start over
I want another life with you,
Not miles away –
For this life is a grandeur
But never content.

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