In this scene; a young middle-class girl, Zakiya, brings a beggar boy, Juma (protagonist), home. She serves him lunch. The story is told by Juma (first person POV).
I stack the rice on my plate, heaping it with three chicken legs and a huge potato. Dada Zakiya hands me a spoon. I laugh at her. “How can I fit the chicken into this spoon?” Dada Zakiya laughs too. I eat the food with my hands. The rice and curry are juicy and salty, and the cardamoms and cloves make it flavourful. We have it with yogurt and banana. Dada Zakiya eats a green chilly dipped in salt with every bite. I decide against that. Her welcoming home makes me forget my pain, and I silently pray that this lasts forever.
“Thank you, Dada, thank you so much,” I say after our meal.
“Shukrana,” she says. “Sharing brings barakat.”
Cooking and sharing food is one of the pleasures of my life. In the photo, I'd cooked lamb biryani for a family reunion at my home a while back. Hope you enjoyed the excerpt from The Beggar's Dance.