This is not about my grandmother
cutting ripe yellow mangoes
in the middle of the day,
just before a siesta;
or about my grandfather
poring over question papers for college students,
or him foraging in the kitchen
for those tins of Threptin diskettes
hidden behind stainless steel containers
of sambar or rasam powder.
Sometimes on the lowest shelf,
behind clay jars of pickle or drums of rice.
This is about the light that filters in,
on a quiet afternoon undisturbed by movement
on the checkered floor in the kitchen,
in tall and fuzzy shapes of the neem tree.
In bulging rotunds of the jackfruit barks,
and in the hard crispness of the guavas
dangling in an occasional breeze;
beckoning to be plucked and pickled.
This is about the fragrance of the parijatham
wafting through the house and into the backyard,
fallen in heaps. The concrete garden floor,
wet from being watered. The hose, snaking back —
to a guzzling tap that hisses through the tube.
This is where I am, writing a poem
with my new fountain pen;
scratching the veins on a banana leaf.
This is my childhood summer.
Memorialised in fiction.
Unfurling through poetry.
Crumbling back into dust —
from which it may never resurface.