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.