Once upon a time,

I picked up the ripe guavas

sliced them into  halves

sprinkled rock salt from a local grocery

peppered fresh chilli flakes

served them on a blue pottery plate.

That’s not how I would serve it though

just a habit from my Dad

he eats guavas like royalty,

treats them like the Alphanso mangoes

‘There must be equality amongst fruits’ he says

I on the other hand eat them

bare, raw sans add- ons

sometimes with their skin on

tastes like a day of farmer’s toil

from a farm in Allahabad.


Yesterday it tasted of a mouthful of reddish earth

garnished with curses and swears

tying my intestines

into a blood stained noose

that farm in Allahabad

that farmer,

Once upon a time.

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Gayatri Lakhiani Chawla is a poet , freelancer and French teacher from Mumbai. She holds a Masters in Commerce (Mumbai University), International  Diploma in Teaching (University of Cambridge)  and  Degree from Alliance Française de Bombay.  Some of her poems have been published in The American Poetry Anthology, The Indian P.E.N., The Brown Critique, The Journal of the Poetry Society (India) , The Brown Boat, Taj Mahal Review and Pea River Journal. Her poem 'Anagram' won the 2013 Commendation Prize at The All India Poetry Competition.