Pinch of Saffron

Pinch of saffron


Dedicated to Scheherazade Asdar Ahmad, for her unwavering faith and unconditional love


A semi empty cup of tea
Smoke rising in curls
A pair of glasses
Resting peacefully on the oak table
An open book
A rusty bookmark between the pages
A pinch of saffron
Perfectly measured out
Words of wisdom
Scattered like beads
The woodwork on the trunk
is finally decaying
Under the velvety blanket of night
The house comes to life.
The words of wisdom become halos
The words of advice become candle flames
The words of love become maple leaves in autumn
Falling all around
We stop to admire them
And then move on.
We never stop to open the doors of our heart
and let these words find a place
We never stop to think about the people
that gave these treasures to us
We never think about them
Except that once-a-year trip to the graveyard
We never breathe deeply in that musty smell
We never return the all knowing smile
Of the elderly
Watching over us.
Today I take out the ten rupee note
Given on Eid years ago

I frown at how valueless it is
But I forget how much tenderness
Had gone into giving it to me
I forget how happy it had made me then
I forget what nana had said to me
Telling me to use it well
As he handed me a bar of white chocolate
I had hugged him and run off
To collect more money.
Today my bank account is full
But my hands are empty
Yearning for that bar of white chocolate
Craving those summers
When nani would feed me lychee
And watch me twirl in my new dress
And say that I look exactly
Like my mother.
Old photographs are all I have
The Instagram account
Of my life is full of black
and white photos.
It is the words of
these institutions of wisdom
That I think of more often
With a cup of semi filled tea
With a crochet hook in my hand
Making a blanket that brings together
the yarn of my life
In a complex

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