Maggi Noodles’ by Aparajita Gupta
One day, my dad promised me
He’d cook Maggi Noodles for school lunch.
He said he’d wake up extra early
And make it, just for us.
My sister isn’t a morning person
She mirrors him in personality and looks
So, yes, his promise felt like a stranger
Swaying its legs on the tip of my tongue.
The next morning, 17-year-old Chitta Gupta
Stumbled into the hesitantly
Sunrise tinted kitchen
In a t-shirt that was at least –
15 years old.
23-year-old Chitta Gupta
Took up a knife and started chopping
Onions, smooth hand motions
Practised from daal sandwich jitters but
Picked up from 9-year-old Chitta Gupta’s
Affinity for skipping rocks, back in sedimentary
Phulbari and mastered by
49-year-old Chitta Gupta who hasn’t been
Back for more than 2 weeks in 30 years
But still feels the swing deep within his veins.
And 17-year-old me
Watched 49 years of ages echo through
Laminated plastic time, swaying around
The edges as each Chitta flicks his wrists
As if it wasn’t the knife he was holding
But the pages of the Bhagavad-Gita
That he had only just understood,
40 years after first picking it up.
My dad finished up the cooking,
Trudging his way back to bed.
I just couldn’t help but feeling
That the Maggi noodles were the most sacred.