At My Indian Table

by Megan Wooters / Garnet & Black

at my indian table

there are silver spoons that frame ceramic plates. 

there are turmeric-stained fingernails surrounding glass bowls.

"Please get the water."

at my indian table, 

there is aloo sabzi with cumin seeds nestled between the pieces,

reminiscent of my peers who called them “bugs” at the lunch table. 

at my indian table, 

it smells like coriander and garam masala,

there are crisp rotis with creamy dahi-

"Remember the kheera."

there is paneer, bhindi and rajma chawal

"I don’t like rajma."

at my indian table, 

there is not an overbearing, marriage-crazed mother, 

though the media begs to differ. 

she is kind and judgemental and clever

and truly does not care about my love life.

at my indian table, 

there is not a stoic, quiet father. 

he is full of article quotes and puns 

and explains how to invest in stocks.

"What is your GPA?"

at my indian table, 

sometimes there is silence, 

so we can listen to the echoes of an argument from last night. 

i don’t know hindi,

"How could you?"

but i can understand discontent. 

at my indian table,

sometimes there is laughter

that is so loud we cannot hear our own thoughts

"There is value in gossip!"

at my indian table,

i fold my aloo into my roti,

"That’s not traditional."

i do not always respect my elders

"Respect is earned."

and i eat my food with my hands. 

i eat my food with my hands.