My mother is a prime example of order.
How she arranges the kitchen or makes the
Grocery list – milk powder, salted fish
Dhal, rice and a little packet of salty pappadams
And whenever I go shopping with her
I’m always amazed at her patience, calmly, like an old Austin car,
Going through the racks in first gear.
She will look first at the item, check the prize,
And slowly put it on the trolley and if it is a little pricey
– Beyond her expectation –
She will put it back where it belongs.
She will always buy Harischandra Pappadam,
A popular brand that I like in particular, and will always
Buy vegetables to stock for a week.
And by habit, my mom will start a conversation with the cashier
Slowly putting item by item on the counter,
Smiling for the simple pleasure it gives.
And thanks to her fine example, I finally
Know how to smell the roses.
You can say I exchanged my Ferrari for an Austin.
Now I see things I couldn’t see before.
The kingfisher in the front yard, the yellow butterflies,
The wonderful messages painted on rickshaws, and even
My grey hairs I slowly comb in front of the mirror.
It seems I’m an anti-thesis of who I was.
Now I laze my way through a cup of tea in the morning,
Too aloof on most days to ever realize,
The tea had gone cold an hour ago