Manisha Bharadia is a third-year medical student at the University of Alberta.Picture of Manisha Bharadia

If you watch me in the morning

You can see how my heart pulls

Myofibrils tensing and releasing

To the beat of my Bapuji’s tabla


If you watch me make my coffee

You can count how many teaspoons of cinnamon

Will be mixed in with the beans

My father’s secret recipe


The earthy, robust powder

Transports me into my Ba’s home

Where I sit down at the table for our afternoon chai

Wrist still cherry red from the






Ba effortlessly rolls the atta

into perfectly planned circles

While I clumsily






Hoping I haven’t pressed too hard as to dissuade

The perfect ballooning


Then Ba will sit at the table

Tell me of how her friends called her to visit

But she took the bus to pay her bill

How she started a new project

Knitting yet another afghan

Eiffel Towers this time she says with a smile

holding up her pastel green creation as proof


The trip was short today

I ponder as my empty mug stares back at me

The aroma of my home

Just an aftertaste on my tongue


Myofibrils tense and release again

This time to the tick of the hospital clock







I sway

Returning to my mechanistic day


Until tomorrow

More cinnamon this time