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Sunday Brunch - By Mariya Khan

Laila hummed while spooning the butter chicken into the steel chafing dish. Drops of sauce splattered on her apron, the steam rising into her nostrils. The morning sun shone through the glass windows of the restaurant, streaming past the tables until it landed on Laila’s black hair. The framed photographs and children’s artworks that covered the mustard walls glittered in excitement. In an hour, Aloo Baba would be flooded with locals coming for the brunch buffet or putting in orders for freshly baked samosas.

Laila loved the restaurant’s boisterous customers. Nothing could truly replace the sounds of familiar voices chatting about stories from the week or back in India and Pakistan. Her father usually left the kitchen to sit and reminisce with the uncles and introduce himself to the new families sitting in the corner. Her mother, when not answering phone orders and yelling at the kitchen staff, gossiped with the aunties. Her older brother Waleed divided his time between refilling the c…

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