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I write the first half of this poem  

while walking to the dairy –

we are out of milk. 

as little droplets appear 

on the cold milk packet 

I think  

of languages and symbols and meanings

of condensation 

of sudden change in the state of matter 

and the rest of the day 

waiting for me 

from the house 

father-in-law belches on the couch 

husband works on his computer inside closed doors 

the lady on the TV sings a bhajan​     

and mother-in-law grates ginger for the tea

singing along 


I write the rest of it 

while kneading dough 

as the gluten strands expand in the flour 

producing a perfect elasticity 

father-in-law belches on the couch 

husband works on the computer 

and mother-in-law peels a pile of garlic

I think  

of rhythms and metaphors and verses 


I pout my mouth to say 


I feel my tongue saying 


she couldn't say that word, 

my mother-in-law 

doesn't know about the gluten strands either 

but she has taught me kneading 

how much water to use, 

how much pressure through the wrist,  

how to roll and twist 

Mother-in-law makes 

the softest rotis 

that's her poetry- 

I am still learning. 


Soumya Hegde is an aspiring writer who mostly lives in a fantasy land. She is currently playing out the thousandth version of her life story in her head.

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