Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A MAN COOKING-A POEM

(This poem of mine has been noticed well, just thought of sharing...)

A man cooking in his kitchen has a lot to explain to himself and his world as like a woman boss in office, he migrates to an arena slippery where he has a system to digest;

his ancestors queue up in the kitchen reprimanding him for spoiling the broth as his wife, even though healthy, and not sick to death, reads the newspaper in the drawing room overlooking a fine morning sky perhaps aping the West;

the kitchen of man cooking is not a backburner where routinely gas is lit, utensils crackle, food boils up-- rather a place metamorphosed into a hot seat as a man is at work to fill the plate with zest;

a man cooking ponders how his mothers, sisters, daughters, wives standing or sitting could spend days after days, seasons after seasons there while he remained absent whiling away the time in the drawing room with the guest;

his own hands feel uneasy with raw vegetables, raw spices, raw onions, raw potatoes sans their mercantile angle that he has associated them with while buying, selling, or producing them best;

his hands strange in their raw company, always at home with the cooked vegetables, cooked pulses with onions and spices delivering an aroma they do not know how to produce, but only to taste;

a man cooking is like a man absolving himself and his ancestors of the sins of the past, their half-cooked tang of what a well cooked up life amounts to, their indifference to the kitchen haste;

a man cooking is actually a man deciding to renovate his house, decorating the backstage silently, painting the green room afresh, scratching the soiled back of his ancestors, getting into the shoes of his womenfolk, resetting a straw or two of his nest.

COMPOSED IN April 2006

PUBLISHED IN THE PRESTIGIOUS JOURNAL ‘INDIAN LITERATURE’ (Volume 248, November/December 2008, Guest Edited by Prof. K Satchidanandan)) BROUGHT OUT BY SAHITYA AKADEMI, (THE INDIAN NATIONAL ACADEMY OF LETTERS) NEW DELHI. ITS HINDI VERSION, TRANSLATED BY THE EMINENT HINDI POET MANGALESH DABRAL, WAS PUBLISHED IN THE PRESTIGIOUS HINDI JOURNAL 'PAHAL', No. 85, February 2007.



Asian ivory Okimono, finely carved figure of a man sitting and preparing food with knife and pots at his side. 2-1/4"H. Chinese or Japanese mark on base--now owned by the Estate of George Mitchell, co-owner of Mitchell's Candy Store, Nashville, USA who during the course of several trips to China and Japan in the late 19th-early 20th century.purchased the series of ivory sculptures of a man engaged in the act of cooking with two of the sculptures showing him toppling down perhaps under the weight of the cooking. This art form flourished during the Meiji period in Japan from the 18th century onwards. Today, 21.07.2012, I accidentally stumbled upon these sculptures on the Net and thought it to be too apt an illustration for the poem above.
Photo courtesy: http://www.liveauctioneers.com