SILL BATTA (the grinding stone) – a poem

SILL BATTA (the grinding stone) – a poem

 

The sound scape of
the sill
serrated in its plinth
pink like the flesh
that wanted marination
readied to be pulped
by bangled hands
of a near dizzy
trusted ‘masalchi’ (the kitchen hand)
of age unknown
and a buck
gentle as a breeze
like the marinade
of lamb that
got to be
the chosen one
for the sill batta
A must in a Sunni Syed
house blessed by Avadhi
cuisine in marriage.
Kababs weren’t a luxury,
the mandate they still
are.
The tinkle of the bangle
the roll of the meat
the sill that hums
its own raga of ras
the cajoling of her hand
makes it the art that
is kabab e shammi
that only Ammi can turn
out in spite of fatigue from
hollering Urdu ghazal
at not too-bright pupils.

She – the mistress of
kababs and yakhni pulao
a feat that a poor
city mixer-grinder
Will never compete with.