The Curry Tree (Karapincha Tree)

curry leaf

I was mixing a Karapincha cube
With boiling water – it was common practice
To drink a hot beverage
When caught with the flu

And that Karapincha cube, didn’t cure my cholesterol
Or give flavor to my insipid world
It just warmed my buccal cavity and esophagus
And made me wish of better times, when the healthy nostrils
Were able to sniff everything around
Smelling the roses at my own accustomed pace

And those karapincha leaves on the curry tree
Are part of my inheritance – a tree on that piece of land
My father gave me when I got married
And that tree still stands today
When my wife asks me to pluck some curry leaves
Just like my mother used to years back

And that curry tree connects a triangle of father, mother and wife
It seems Karapincha is not just for chicken curries
And tempered cashew nuts
It is the glue that binds the past
With the present – the paste that flavors
The sambals and mallums of my mixed family roots
And admixtures with the scraped-coconut complexion of my wife

And every time I pluck a curry leaf
I’m my mother’s child, my wife’s lover and my father’s heir
The many characters of my life plucked from the Karapincha tree
Chopped and ground and mixed inside a bowl of curry

To cook with a whopping helping of love….


Author: meandererworld (Dilantha Gunawardana)

Dr Dilantha Gunawardana is a molecular biologist who graduated from the University of Melbourne. He moonlights as a poet. His poems have been accepted/published in Forage, American Journal of Poetry, Kitaab, Eastlit and Ravens Perch. He mixes science with poetry for a living, when what matters is the expression of both DNA and words into something serendipitous. Although an Australian citizen, Dilantha is domiciled in Sri Lanka, his country of birth.

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