When a Saree Becomes a Cabbage

The Bombay rains open the skies

The Rain God showers his blessing.

Waiting for the bus

My white saree becomes a cabbage

Six yards of delicate fabric

Morph into green leaves

Six yards of green cabbage!

The petticoat holding the pleats together

Stiffens like the hardness of white heart

The core I cut out when cooking

The wind is to blame for that.

I hold my saree up to the waist

(A little concerned about Indian decorum)

The wet anklets graze my skin.


The bus arrives splashing mud

White turns to brown

Like a cabbage becoming old.

The rain is falling in sheets

 Now my saree resembles a bedsheet.


I return from work

Mother has prepared cabbage sabji

I eat the potatoes, shove the cabbage

onto my father’s plate

He doesn’t notice, of course

He is busy writing a poem

in his poetry notebook,

From time to time he eats

Scribbling in the notebook on his lap

So mother doesn’t confiscate it.


‘You may be a poet,’ she says

The brain cannot  process

 Two activities at the same time.’


‘Eat your food,’

 She scolds him like a child.


~Kavita Ezekiel Mendonca

Calgary, Canada

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