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Approximations, by Tania Mitra

Updated: Jul 12, 2021

Flustered, I call my mother—

Painting of two people embracing in woods with house
"safe house," by Seo Won Yoon

“Ma, how many spoons of

Ginger-Garlic paste do I put?”

First, I spent 19 years longing

To leave home, and now, I

Longed for the taste of home.

In my language, we don’t

Have measures. A quarter

Cup, two teaspoons; at home,

My mother would use the

“Best Father in the World”

Mug we’d gifted baba to set

Aside the half-cup of Milk.

No, in Bengali we have

Cheemte, the tiny, minuscule bit

Of ginger for the perfect winter tea;

Ek mutho, the number of rice grains

That fit into my palm before I cook it;

Halka, the light smattering of red chilli

Powder over the chicken curry, and

Ektu, a little bit, but just enough.

The home I grew up in

Tested quantities with

Feelings, and Taste with

Scents; Ma responds to my

Question, “Tor jotota laage.”

However much you need.


Tania Mitra is a student of Literature and an aspiring Media Professional. She enjoys creating and expressing herself through various means- the written word, make-up, and (soon, hopefully), video. Her personal tagline is "You've got the fluff."


Seo Won Yun is a rising senior at Miss Porter’s School in Connecticut. She often draws inspiration from the works of Kurt Vonnegut, mythologies from around the world, and soft rock or folk musicians—namely Lou Reed and The Oh Hellos. Her work has been published on the Blue Marble Review. In her free time, she enjoys making odd menageries, embroidering, making failed attempts at sewing, drawing, and catching up on Modern Family. She hopes to major in Theatre Design and Production in college.


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