Revised version. 

Evening Rituals


Inside the cramped living room,

planting ourselves in shaky wicker chairs,

with dinner on our knees—

rice, chickpea stew, roasted okra, faintly

smelling of paraffin from the Primus stove—

we savor our share on steel plates,

the ones that come with separate

compartments for different dishes,

eyes glued to the technicolor screen—

that dreadful 21-inch box,

a gift from my parent’s wedding,

a flamboyant luxury in the olden days,

now a relic, speakers crackling, almost dying—

we eat off our knees, forgetting

the everyday problems of our everyday lives

with a famous Indian sitcom,

Tarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma,

sharing intermittent laughter in-between.

I stuff a heaping spoonful of rice and curry 

into my mouth, snort at a smutty 

double entendre, drink water,

splutter and cough—my dad pats on my arm,

I laugh clumsily, content

to be with an everyday family

with a living room, a TV, and bills to pay.





Poetry by Yayāti
Read 372 times
Written on 2019-10-21 at 17:36

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Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
About the revisions: The wicker-chair line is good. As for changing "rice" to "mixture," I'd hate to lose a concrete noun! I advise keeping "rice," although it isn't "literally" the truth. Or if you do replace "rice," do so with a noun that is equally specific, equally concrete.

Thomas D The PoetBay support member heart!
There is nothing in this poem that I wish were different. Superlative. Congratulations, as the poem is an achievement for which this reader feels something of a holy envy!

Thank you.