• U P Number in Goa

    Salil Chaturvedi

    April 18, 2018

    Image Courtesy: The Guardian

    I don’t speak Konkani too well
    Just a smattering
    To get by, for example, vhodlo Goldflake
    To let the shopkeeper 
    Know my preference
    He looks at the number plate of my car
    And asks about U.P.
    I don’t know what to say—It’s a vhodlo state, I mumble
    Pretty dry, and gets unbearably hot in the summers
    The winters are intense too
    The forests around the river where my parents live
    have disappeared and no one really knows who
    took them
    On some days, you find teenage 
    Girls hanging from trees like large ripe 
    bottle gourds. And on other days
    you find a woman in a field
    lying like a bleeding melon.
    I never visit the shop again.

     In Konkani vhodlo means big.

    Salil Chaturvedi writes short fiction and poetry in English and Hindi. He lives in Chorao, an island in Goa.

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