Coconut Burfi - the story full of simmering sweetness
As a little girl growing up in Chennai, I remember the first time when building work started on our plot of land. It became the house in which my parents live now and we visit every year.
Along with the puja for the foundation, the workers dug a pit and planted three coconut trees. The trees were a symbol of love, affection and prosperity. Those three trees stand there still, dropping coconuts on in our garden sometimes scaring an unsuspecting squirrel.
Since the time I entered the kitchens to learn cooking from my grandmother and mother, there was one speciality dessert my mother would make. Coconut Burfi.
It was technically an easy recipe on paper. It needed patience and a steady hand in reality. I had learnt how to make it just by watching her make it, as she told us about her first time learning it.
That love for coconut and the how the simmering of sugar and coconut gratings symbolised life permeated into my short story Coconut Burfi.
The story is about so many things - family, love, secrets, bias and prejudice and living an expat life out of necessity. In some ways, I left home to a foreign country to avoid the rigours of arranged marriage and the prejudice against those who rail against it.
This story was shortlisted in 2020 for the LoveReading Short Story Award and is published here if you're intrigued to read it.
After reading, do come back and tell me what you think!