Ganesh and Southern Maid Donuts

By Rudri Bhatt Patel

I know it is Sunday morning because the paper lands on the driveway with a louder thud, masala chai whispers underneath the door, and the sounds of Bollywood music vibrate in our small Texas home. My radio belts out Madonna, some version of the song Vogue springing in the air. The Debbie Gibson vests collide in the closet with my batik saris and I hear my parents speaking in Hindi, while I hum the words, “Marlene Dietrich, Marilyn Monroe.”

I walk into the kitchen, Lord Ganesh sitting vigil in our small temple, while my father bellows a familiar mantra. When he finishes praying, he turns to me and says, “Want to get some donuts?” I sit shotgun while we drive in his dark blue Camry to Southern Maid Donuts, the smell of curry lingering in the car.

I slide into my seat, the sound of Om Namah Shivay echoing from Dad’s favorite CD. Glazed donut in one hand, I half-smile at him, and say thank you in his language.

Rudri Bhatt Patel is a former attorney turned writer and editor. Prior to attending law school, she graduated with an MA in English with an emphasis in creative writing. She is the co-founder and co-editor of the literary journal, The Sunlight Press, and on staff at Literary Mama. Her work has been nominated for Best Small Fictions and has appeared in Milk Candy ReviewPidgeonholes, 101 Words, Literary MamaMothers Always Write, The Washington Post, Civil Eats, Saveur, and elsewhere.  She is currently working on a memoir on grief, the Hindu culture, and how it provides perspective on life’s ordinary graces. She lives in Arizona with her family.

Art by Lesley C. Weston (Digital Drawing)

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