top of page
June 13, 2023

Chicken Curry

Chandrama Deshmukh
Chicken Curry

How do you write such long poems?

My mother asks me on the phone.

"Just like you make chicken curry," I say.

She laughs.

I know exactly what to say to make her laugh.

I also know how to confuse her, calm her down, infuriate her,

influence her.

And she simply falls for it, every. single. time.

It’s like she’s letting me enjoy

this staged little game of ‘Simon says’ so I feel important,


We’re turning into each other, you know!

Exchanging random pieces of our separate jigsaw puzzles

that surprisingly fit in the others’ vacant patch,

like it always belonged there.

Just like her, when I am upset, I will start cleaning the clean


Just like me, when she’s anxious, she’ll be brutal to her


I love how we are the same person in different settings.

There’s something so charming about this euphoria of

ordinariness we share,

glamorising it feels like de-meaning it.

I refuse to hero-zone her.

Heroes are too perfect, too animated, unreachable.

She’s the peaceful, prudent protagonist of my story,

the one I might never be able to write.

Mummy, I ask her,

"Do you like my long poems?" Stirring the chicken curry, she says

"I don’t understand them, but I like to keep looking at them."

Chandrama Deshmukh is a poet, author, playwright, performer and theatre artist. A Teaspoon Of Stars and Moonlit Monochrome are her recent collection of English poems. A storyteller of sorts, the moon is her muse. Poetry for Chandrama is that one streak of silver lining amidst the chaos of life. Being an avid reader and art lover, she believes nothing touches her soul the way poetry does. Chandrama lives in Bangalore, India.

bottom of page