Nila soru.
Food eaten under the moon.
Food shared with the moon.
Nila soru. Food blessed by the moon,
watching over you,
as the white morsel holds perfectly together,
moving from plate to mouth,
or better yet, from feeding hand to yours.

Nila soru
lining the edge of the plate
in little moons,
drawn from the big mother moon
with spots of curry, flecks of chutney
But the perfect mini moon will be yours
One…two…three

Nila soru sounds nothing like
ICE-CREAM
But it looks like it
Creamy curds, white rice
Ice-cream even has the same name
Vanilla. Venn nila.
The silvery moon
When it’s that delicious cold, you don’t care it’s not sweet.

Nila soru melts in your mouth
in a cold, tickly, giggly fit
And gurgles in laughter as the tang
hits the back of your throat
But other hands are reaching already
So you play with elbows, wrestle with fingers
Over the large plate,
As you race to catch that next
mouthful of laughter

Nila soru stilled by stern eyes
halting you mid skid
Mid wrestle, mid giggle,
reminding you to chew
but it’s so soft, how can you?
The feeding hand melts into yours
Another mouthful smiles up from your palm

Nila soru as you look up
see a bite taken out of the moon
You stop, worried, mid mouthful
and it goes down the wrong way
and you cough
When you look up again,
the moon is laughing back
So you pout and resolve to eat the moon again

Nila soru, goodnight.

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‘Nila soru’ is a phrase that adults use in rhymes, stories & play while feeding young children, especially on moonlit nights. This poem is an ode to the nostalgia, food & family that carry us through these difficult times with hope.


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