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Bottomless masala chai with flaked almonds kept the grownups warm. We ran around playing Lock-and-Key. Dinner was at twilight: slow-cooked mustard greens, butter chicken, paranthas swimming in ghee, and daal so thick the ladle chopped it up like a mountainside.

In winter in Ropar, we dined in our coats. The steam from the dishes mingled with the steam from grownups’ breaths.

I’d strip double-quick and jump into bed cold-toed with granny and Bhaiya. One comforter covered us all; we tucked it tight and got to work farting. Farts fuelled by thick daal are so hot, we never needed a heater.


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By Amita Basu

I'm a writer based in Bangalore, India.

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