Poem: My Summer Home

Painting: mozters.com

By Vidya Tewani

Her home was my harbour
Summer after summer
Is how far I remember
The nest nurtured by my grandmother

In the Rajasthan desert
Amidst the Aravali slopes
Take the uphill road
In the narrow lane of many homes
You will find my summer abode

It has the aroma
Of daliya cooked in sugar syrup
Its hue like a brown hazel nut
A hint of crushed cardamom, my senses behold
Nani’s chocolate fingers, thick and bold
Would pour the porridge
On a white ceramic breakfast bowl
With a tiny well and the round edge
Little flowers craftily etched
In shades of pink, olive and soft red
Delights my memory never forgets

There you see
Little rings of smoke
Of Chandan, lavender and rose
The incense sticks would burn gentle
Faith brightening the mandir mantle
With gods, goddesses, saints, and gurus
A leaf from the Paath Sahib nani would choose
Her book wrapped in silk folds
Placed on a wooden lattice frame
Nani is now chanting stories of spiritual gain

The big achar barnis would entice
Into nani’s kitchen my hungry heart dives
Jars of lentils, papads and spices
Home-made and sun-dried
Cups and saucers in their niches ensconced
The thalis shine gold, silver and bronze
Sindhi kadhi simmering, ready to be served
Nani’s food always tasted of divine love

Summer after summer
Is how far I remember
The nest nurtured by my grandmother
Her home was my harbour


Daliya – porridge

Chandan – sandalwood

Mandir – temple

Paath Sahib – a holy text read daily in many traditional Sindhis Hindu homes

Achar – pickle

Barni – jars

Thalis – plates

Sindhi kadhi – Vegetables cooked in gram flour curry – traditionally made by Sindhis

Vidya Tewani is an Assistant Professor of English at SVKM’s Pravin Gandhi College of Law in Mumbai. She is pursuing her Ph.D. at the Department of English at SNDT Women’s University, Mumbai. In her proposed thesis, she wishes to present a discussion on post-partition Sindhi identity in literary works written in Sindhi and English by Sindhi writers in India. She pursued her B.A. (English) and M.A. (English) from St. Xavier’s College, Ahmedabad, and holds an M.Phil. in English Language Teaching from The English and Foreign Languages University, Hyderabad.


Like Cafe Dissensus on Facebook. Follow Cafe Dissensus on Twitter.

Cafe Dissensus Everyday is the blog of Cafe Dissensus magazine, born in New York City and currently based in India. All materials on the site are protected under Creative Commons License.


Read the latest issue of Cafe Dissensus Magazine, “Travel Writing: A mode of constructing knowledge”, edited by Raeesa Usmani, Surat, India.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s