Rooh Afza

I start composing my poem
I say I am petrichor
I am the fresh perfume
Issued from cardamom thoughts
When I smell the sweet earthy scent
Of the immature rain.
This is so mesmerizing!
As I stare at the rain
I wait for my cup of hot coffee
And a plate of pakoras.
Can I resist all these?
The truth is it all happens naturally.

My mother says salads
Are very good for health
She prepares the exotic recipe
By adding cucumber, chopped
Ginger, garlic, tomatoes,
Piercing green parsley, cabbage
And dresses it with olive oil.
I remove the ginger and garlic
And shout at her
Who adds this pungent stuff!
Soon I get to listen those sage advises
From my grandparents that
Life is an exotic salad recipe
Each and every ingredient is important
If you want to enjoy its taste!

When I wear those
Branded pantaloons cold shoulder tops
And my favourite jeans
They say I look very attractive
But when I wore
A south Indian pattu saree
They praised me by saying
Oh, you look like a goddess!
I was surprised!
Perhaps this is the glory
Of our timeless Indian culture.

I keep on sneezing
When I have cold
I don’t feel like going out
And this is when I am forced
To drink a glass of warm milk
Mixed with turmeric and black pepper.
When I notice clumps of hair falling out
I start buying those
Expensive commercial shampoos
Nothing works and finally
I switch back to authentic
Ayurvedic ingredients like
Neem, tulsi, hibiscus and fenugreek
To stop my hair fall!

Pop! Pop! Pop!
I enjoy popping those bubble wraps
When I am bored
I remember the thrill of bunking lectures
Secretly eating chocolates and my granny’s
Delicious homemade lime pickle
Still the one which is dearest to my heart is
My timeless passion for writing poems
And reciting them to my grandparents.
With time many things may change
But some things remain unchanged!

Rooh soul
Afza nourishes (together it means ‘that which nourishes the soul’)
Pattu saree traditional south Indian silk saree
Tulsi a kind of basil (sacred plant in India).

Note: Rooh Afza is a refreshing squash which was introduced in 1907. The flavour, the fragrance and the colour as well as the goodness remain unchanged and unparalled even after 100 years of its creation.
Pakoras Indian snacks

Life is a glass of coke

I sit with a glass of coke
I take small sips
And enjoy its refreshing taste.
Conversations with my friends press on
And after sometime
When I start taking another sip
It no longer tastes refreshing
No longer like coke
But like a tea decoction.
The coke lost its effervescence
Just like our extended conversations
Just like our cheeks and skin
Just like our behaviour.
The conversations become meaningless
Skin loses its elasticity
And we become forlorn citizens.

SRAVANI SINGAMPALLI is a published writer and poet from India. Her poems have appeared in Scarlet Leaf Review, Spillwords press, Galaktika Atunis, Indian Ruminations, Setu bilingual journal, Criterion journal and many others and are also forthcoming in many international journals and anthologies. She is presently pursuing Doctor of Pharmacy at JNTU KAKINADA University in Andhra Pradesh, India.

More from Sravani: instagram @sravanisingampalli