Chai I Made With Rotten Milk

By Mehak Rajoria

Ever since I could remember,

I have hated cooking

with all the passion I could conjur 

in my chubby 4 fingered hands.

The onions that made me cry; the splashing oil.

The expectation that the boys sitting around the 

dining table would smile at what they thought was their right 

after a long day of football under the sweltering sun.

I hated it all.

Their grins or their compliments when I cooked

Their attempts to flatter me were just actually just a 

reflection of my faults in my little 6 year old mind.

From then on, I started pouring the salt instead of the 

sugar. My hand, a little too loose with the spice. 

And then I saw how it all unfolded according to my plan.

It made me grin sadistically watching their faces turn green

The faked forced thin lipped smiles as their 

adams apples' tried to down the 

Chai I Made with Rotten Milk.

Never again did I hear “you're so good at cooking Leila”

“Cook again for us Leila.” The boys in my school stopped saying 

girls belonged in the kitchen because they knew I certainly didn't.

And it made my cheeks hurt with pride that I was the reason behind it.

But I didn't realize that I don't live in a world in which I can cook 

for myself without believing I am perpetuating a stereotype.

Where I can be feminine and masculine without being l

labeled as a “bruh” girl or a “🥺” “girl.


I live in a world where the scale of justice was 

tipped lower for a female for the higher societal standards 

we were meant to follow and 

I hate it all.

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