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Sunder And Sonati

Smells are evocative
The smell of khichdi cooking
Evokes in me
This childhood memory:

I go to school
In the pouring rain
Raincoated and gumbooted
Arrive on time
To be met with
The announcement
Of a rain holiday
Hip hip hurray

The five paise return bus fare
Is spent on jeera golis
(Ten jeera golis for five paise
In those long-ago days)
And I head home
Through the puddles
In the pouring rain
With like-minded friends
Soaked to the skin
(What raincoat can withstand
A Bombay downpour?)

I ring the doorbell
To be greeted by my mother
"Oh, rain holiday-a?"
The smell of khichdi cooking
Smells are evocative indeed