Karela and My Theory of Karma


Karela and My Theory of Karma

Illustration: Shivali Devalkar


hen you grow up in the South, you are expected to know several gourds by their quirky names, peculiar aftertastes, and whatever else their horoscopes spell. Bulb, snake, ridge, bottle, ivy, and ash. But the most dreadful of them all, capable of striking fear in the hearts of the most strident enthusiasts? Bitter.

It helps that I had a logophile grandpa, who anglicised all sorts of local vegetables when they were brought in. I invariably forgot their names in the vernacular. But nothing could help me forget the distaste I had for this ugly, shrivelled veggie.