Tuesday, December 16, 2014


“Mama, why do they call coriander cilantro?”
“We call it that too, sometimes.”
“No, it’s Chinese parsley.”
“That sounds like medicine!”
“Only if you get your medicines from the Hakim.”
Those are witch-doctors, but Ayurveda is a real science.”
“India never even had witches. Hakims are just herbalists.”
“Something has to give: 
     tourists spend exorbitantly for those homeopathic sugar-pills.”
“Whatever you say, but none of that stuff lead to fMRIs.”
“Maybe it did. Even if they don’t publish about it, allopathists still eat it!”
“You know that coriander is actually medicinal right? 
     There’s empirical evidence.”
“Yes. Grandmother used to put kothimbeer on swellings,
     and they went down right away.”
    “Is that coriander? The guy at the bodega calls it dhaniya.”
“Google says they’re both Hindi; just like English has two words for it.”
And it’s not a bodega. He’s a street vendor.”
Sabzi-wallahs can be street vendors or not—”
“Mine comes over if I text him; beats the queues at Reliance FreshMart.
“—Thela is what we call it. Yes, and it’s healthier, straight from the farm.”
“That’s a cart. A street-cart.”
“Well, it’s not exactly a cart…”

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