Giving thanks: Way to my heart is through my stomach


Akhila Gunturu

The Sidekick CHS9 editor Akhila Gunturu finds food as something that keeps her grounded and connects her to others. Despite the changes brought by COVID-19, Gunturu is grateful that no matter the distance, she can bond with her friends and family through food.

Akhila Gunturu, CHS9 Editor

Growing up, food was always a family affair. Breakfast meant sitting on the edge of the kitchen countertop, groggily downing oatmeal. Lunch meant the four of us on the living room floor, huddled around rice and lentils. Dinner meant the four of us tetris’d onto one sofa, plates in one hand, TV remote in the other. 

Come middle and high school, food meant me choking on my chocolate milk more often than appropriate. Food meant me accompanying my friends to the C-store. Food meant long conversations and laughter as my friends and I squeezed onto one bench, shoulders touching. 

Despite everything that has changed since March, food has remained constant. 

Brunch instead of breakfast, yes, but still on the kitchen countertop with my family surrounding me. Munching on snacks during Zoom calls, yes, but with my friends on the other side with snacks of their own. Food builds bridges and takes me back with just the right amount of spice to sweltering summers in India, tugs me by the hand to C-lunch after Sidekick. It has been a while since I experienced either, but they are my core, and I treasure them nevertheless. I am nothing if not the spices from my mother’s steel box. I am made entirely of the food I have made, eaten and loved for my entire life. 

Food has always been special to me. This year especially, food reminds me of how lucky I am to have things to eat and people to enjoy it with, regardless of the distance. Food is a labor of love. 

For me, it is the people around me. It’s something for us to enjoy together and bond over, and for that, I am grateful. 

Follow Akhila (@akhila_gunturu) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.