Ashok Rajamani


There she was, dancing in
the red brick open-air kitchen
facing the veranda, laughing and giggling
like a crazed
and lonely spinster playing with pets
One tiny fan whirled slowly above her as she inhaled the sticky, moist
Mumbai air
scents kicked in, one by one

chilli, coriander, ginger --
all blended seamlessly to create her
altered climate, an atmosphere of irresistible flavor

when her mission was completed, she brought her platter of freshly-
cooked, freshly-fried samosas to the table
They began eating what she presumably considered, psychotically, to be
miniature dumplings of ecstasy.

all, she had been dancing
and laughing manically as she constructed them
There were few words spoken, as her mouth was full
her creations
This is my daily snack, she yelled!

Nobody understood
how this could be, how she could eat her fried samosas daily and still
maintain her skinny figure. With her body
somehow she must have exercised daily, but they couldn't imagine her
voluntarily breaking a sweat.
was it classic binge and purge
no, they assumed, forcing herself
to gag would take too much effort


good genetics.
Lucky bitch.

After the meal was completed, she surprisingly
removed the dishes herself. Barely pausing at the kitchen sink, she
said she had to go to the bathroom.

when they heard
the wretching
the toilet flushing
the sink spraying

they knew why she remained thin
and wondered when then the next meal would be served


Ashok Rajamani is a writer, poet, and artist in New York City. He is a member of the Authors Guild, New York Writers Coalition, and South Asian Journalists Association. Rajamani has been published in numerous outlets, including Pif Magazine, South Asian Review and 3:AM Magazine. In 2000, at the age of 25, he survived a massive brain hemorrhage that left him with permanent, bisected blindness, epilepsy, and a carved skull. His writing and art reflect the complexities of his survival and post-brain surgery existence. Ashok's memoir, Brain karma, will be published by Algonquin Books in 2011. For more info: