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An Ode to Desi Uncles

2 min read

This poem was written about an uncle, a friend of my dad’s, who visited my house one night. I wrote this as a tribute to all the memories my dad made while he was growing up in Bangalore and how much one friend could bring all his stories back to him.

This uncle was the type of person who could make you remember things you thought you had forgotten so long ago. His storytelling was so beautiful that it made me realize the power of words and stories. There were so many aspects of this uncle I found captivating, so I wrote about the first time I met him.

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The Uncle

As I walk into the kitchen
I pick up a chakli,
A deep fried ring-like
Snack
Which is hard and spicy
If it’s good,

I join everyone at the table
As my dad’s friend
Continues on
In a quiet
Kannada.
He sounds like a professor.
Every part of him
His ash grey hair
His quiet voice
The way
He looks over his glasses
When he talks
But never through them
His use of pauses
Make it feel
Like he’s auditioning
To be the next
Amitabh Bachchan.
But he’s not
Trying to impress anyone.
It’s just the way
He talks.

He chuckles
About the things
He and my dad
Used to do,
Making them seem
Like it was so long ago,
When India was small
And everyone knew each other,
Where young guys
Never talked to girls,
Unless it was a dare
Back when forever seemed like it never could end.

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