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Library Dumplings -- poetry by Sriya Bandyopadhyay

First, place a teaspoon of the filling inside the dumpling.

Make sure the filling is firm and not crumbling.

Gently fold the dough over this Chinese delicacy,

and create a pattern across the trim

as the traditional Chinese call for generally.

Allow the soft 餃子 (jiǎozi) to boil,

however, you might find that the dumplings uncoil.

Remember to apply water to the rim when attaching the two sides of the dough,

do this step very smoothly, nice and slow.


You would be surprised to hear

that this recipe wasn’t being demonstrated on a cooking channel,

but rather while shelving books at a library,

specifically near the children’s section at the rear.


The most unexpected place to learn how to make authentic dumplings,

but don’t people always say that you can learn new things everywhere.

Though I suppose learning about recipes

while volunteering at a library can’t compare.


He spoke about how his grandmother taught him to make his first dumpling,

and at such a young age too, back when he was still mumbling.

He said to enjoy the dumpling with a sauce of your choice,

in a whispering voice,

so that the library would not hear a peep of noise.



Sriya (she/ her) was born in Kolkata, India in 2006. She grew up in Mumbai, Singapore before moving to Dubai, where she currently resides. She speaks English, Mandarin, Spanish, Bengali, and Hindi. In addition to kayaking and baking, poetry helps Sriya express herself in the midst of a hectic high school schedule. The current world around is the point of her interest to soak-in, to observe how and perhaps why things happen.

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