Hunger of the fingertips.

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The clank of silverware against bone china makes me impatient. My fingertips ache to free themselves of the stainless steel, and jump headfirst into the piping hot plate of biryani with all the colors of sunset on my plate. The forks tug at the lamb, which slides off the bone, so seductively. I can barely manage to not cry. The rice, fluffed and fragrant almost mocks me, as I scoop it into the cold embrace of the spoon. I feel ashamed. I am ruining it for myself. I do not deserve this, after agreeing to sit through this excruciating extended family dinner. A unique problem, native to Indian households, where half our food is best eaten with hands is that, polite society wants you to attempt the feat with forks. I comply with polite society, except when the matter at hand is close to my heart and fiercely personal. Biryani is personal.

I am halfway through. I had a decision to make. I carefully, noiselessly set aside the crutches, and dive in. The grains of rice, slip through my fingers with a grace only experienced and the lamb tears itself away from the bone, at my slightest insistence and submits itself to my will, to god’s will. The last of the biryani, gets expertly scooped by my now satiated fingertips, leaving a trail of saffron. All passionate affairs leave something behind for the world to witness.

I go to sleep, with a belly full of biryani, my fingertips faintly smelling of handwash and star anise and my arteries clogged with all kinds of cholesterol.


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