A poem connecting Bihar with Latin America
‘At least that’s the plan.’ – Jack Turner
This fresh, green, perfect calabash I have
purchased today at the market in Brasilia
reminds me of calabashes growing
on my mother’s thatched roof in Bihar
calabashes of different shapes and size.
I travel thirty years back and remember
my mother lifting me up with her hands
helping me to get to the thatched roof
to fetch calabashes to be cooked.
Now the thatched roof is gone,
replaced with corrugated steel sheets
nothing grows on it
slashed, fresh and perfect, Brazilian calabash
does not taste the same, it has too many seeds
cultivated en masse on large farms with pesticides
by some callous, half-hearted, corporate farmer.
Does anyone grow calabash
on thatched roofs these days?
I am going to cook it just like my mother
and savor it, at least that’s the plan.
Also read: Poetry transcends the poet
*Bihar-born Abhay K. is the author of a memoir and eight poetry collections. At present he is serving as India’s Ambassador in Madagascar. This poem is taken from his latest collection The Alphabets of Latin America: A Carnival of Poems (Bloomsbury India)