“Parrot Isn’t Hungry”: On Family, Food, Fasting, and Ramadan
This Eid will not be Eid until I’ve spent time crying and laughing, describing the aromas of foods that are not here.
Parrot isn’t hungry,
To me, now, Eid feels like Eid only when, coming home from namaaz, I briefly catch a whiff of air, thick and smoky with incense, cardamom, and rich cream. My own kitchen, though, will have no sticks slowly burning to ash on the kitchen counter; no pot just about boiling over with sheer kurma; no sisters frantically searching for shoes to match their shalwar kameez or Mumma suggesting another shade of lipstick or Daddy telling us we’ll all be late, again.
Gulnaz Saiyed is a Muslim/American/Desi writer based in Chicago. Her work has been published by Brain Mill Press Voices, the Huffington Post, and the Georgia Review. She's working on her first novel and a collection of essays. You can follow her on Twitter and read more of her writing on Medium.
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I sought a cherished symbol from my own childhood, not a standardized emblem of all Indonesian culture, which I can’t and shouldn’t pretend is all mine to take.