Ode to Upma

Ode to Upma

The Upma is a wondrous thing, it is verily without a simile

In Kalidasa’s verse, Upma is the simile, to us it is family

God, who couldn’t be everywhere, sent to us our Ma

And Ma , in her necessity, invented the Upma.



Most days, the common Upma , an object of frequent scorn

Can hold out against the idli, and come into its own

Idli, like Pa, goes from steamy to soft as a flower,

The Upma, on the contrary, is magic made of salt and flour.



In recent days Upma has mushroomed in the Big Apple,

With Yoga, Ayurveda and Nirvana, the Upma is the new Indian staple

Mundane to exotic be it Upma, Uppindi or Uppittu

Will McUpma one day be dished up at a drive-through?


Will there be a temple to Upma Maheshwari

And has Upma already made it to the Oxford English Dictionary?

And a battle royal over who, Meenakshi Ammal

Makes a better Upma, or Tarla Dalal?


Now I write in nostalgia, home may be where the heart is

But, is Upma, like ignorance, truly bliss?

All I know is the true worth of the Upma

Strikes home only when you become the Ma.









  1. up↑take says:

    good one…. Bill Gates tasted upma in India and he came back and excitedly told about it in an interview.. “they have this thing called upuma…” try using kuskus, lima beans and broccoli and you get a WTO version of upma

    1. alljay2000 says:

      up|take, thanks for this! have been ignoring my blogging all these months, as you can see. Will check out your blog which looks very interesting!

  2. Surya says:

    Brilliant. Please send it to the chef who recently put Upma on the world stage. By the way, is there a collection of what I would call `Cuisine Poetry’? If there is, this Ode to Upma ought to certainly find a place in it.
    Meanwhile, lets have more – of Upma – and your poems ! Cheers!

  3. alljay2000 says:

    Prakash, I’m sure there is. If not we’ll make up one!

  4. ayesha says:

    you should spell the actors name correctly …it is Aamir KHAN …thank you

  5. How true ! very well written Jayasri !

    1. Jayasri says:

      Thanks! Surekha! Mushroom Upma on me when you come by to the USof A. particularly Herndon Halli!

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