SILL BATTA (the grinding stone) by Alleyah asghar

The sound scape of the sill
serrated in its plinth
pink like the flesh
that wanted marination
readied to be pulped
by bangled hands
of a near dizzy
trusted ‘masalchi’ (the kitchen hand)
of age unknown
and a buck
gentle as a breeze
like the marinade
of lamb that
got to be
the chosen one
for the sill batta
A must in a Sunni Syed
house blessed by Avadhi
cuisine in marriage.
Kababs weren’t a luxury,
the mandate they still are.
The tinkle of the bangle
the roll of the meat
the sill that hums
its own raga of ras
the cajoling of her hand
makes it the art that
is kabab e shammi
that only Ammi can turn
out in spite of fatigue from
hollering Urdu ghazal
at not too-bright pupils.

She – the mistress of
kababs and yakhni pulao
a feat that a poor
city mixer-grinder
Will never compete with.


Sill batta, one essential part of traditional kitchen ware, now losing its place with the advent of technology, as homemakers have shifted from using the traditional kitchen wares. But the taste of cusines which are prepared by grinding spices in sill bata is awesome and mouth watering and can’t get by poor mixer.

Thanks Aliyah Asghar for these beautiful lines, it was like walking through old memory lanes. Aliyah asghar is a communication and creative consultant, worked with a chosen few brands for their media needs, do a lot of music curator work with new artists, and have advertising and broadcast experience for over 20 years.

Her last launch was a music channel for Sony Pictures Network called Sony Mix, where she was the creative head there.

Now she is working as an independent consultant and sooner a book wrote by her will be publish.

For more of her creativity reached at

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