*Dr. K L Chowdhury

  Often of a beautiful morning
after having returned from a walk
I find my grandchildren
in a stretch of confusion
wondering what to have for breakfast
and what not.

I watch them open the refrigerator
and look inside the pantry
eyeing the packages on the shelves,
battling to choose
from the wide range in offer -
cereals in flashy packages;
baked potatoes, chips and fries,
pastries, waffles and doughnuts,
candies, cookies, and cakes ,
breads and bagels of different makes -
fruit juices and medleys
fresh fruits of all varieties and seasons;
milk – low fat, full fat, zero fat,
yoghurt of several cultures;
coffee - brewed and instant,
tea - hot, iced and gourmet….

Even as the list goes on and on
they are lost in indecision
and look at me
as if posing a question!

Then I relate with nostalgia
my days of childhood and youth
back home in India
and tell them all I had for breakfast
was a steaming hot cup of tea
from the samovar
and a fresh loaf of round bread
from the only baker in the neighborhood -
the same white loaf everyday
that I would so eagerly await
as the baker tossed it hot from the oven
into my waiting hands
and I juggled it
from one hand to another
to let it cool down
before I fell on it with my ravenous appetite
and ate with such a relish!

When my grandchildren watch how
the very thought of that flavor
sends my mouth watering
and flares my nostrils six decades later,
they shout,
“That is the bread we would like, grandpa,
that is the breakfast we are looking for!”

Saratoga, Ca. USA
20th June, 2007

*Dr. K L Chowdhury retired as a Professor of Medicine, Medical College, Srinagar. Presently he is the Director of a charitable institution, Shriya Bhatt Mission Hospital and Research Center, Durga Nagar, Jammu.

He is a physician and neurologist, a medical researcher, poet, social activist. He writes on diverse subjects – medical, literary, social and political and has numerous research papers to his credit, his pioneering work being “The Health Trauma in a Displaced Population” which was presented at national and international conferences.

He was declared Shehjar's 'Kashmiri Person of the year' for 2007.

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It is nor out nostalgia for the past.It is a pathetic effort to link our simple glorious past with our intricate glittering present which we usually fail in the hectic haste of our fast life.All such efforts help us to conserve our culture.
Added By pushkar ganjoo
Once again a beautiful poem, which reminds of our beautiful past and dismal present.
Added By Chander M. Bhat
Very well done! A nice pithy depiction of the simple sweet past. The new generation seems to live a soulless life though provided with all so-called facilities.
Added By JL Bhat