Women of Sri Lanka

On the Kandy streets, smiling, shopping, hurrying,

I recognize in you my Bengal sisters;

you have thrown off sari, salwar kameez, dupatta,

instead a light blouse, a loose skirt

bright over brown ankles,

slender feet in cheap sandals.


I recognize my Bengali sisters’ figure, face and form,

but stare to see you seated in the driver’s seat,

your confident stride,

long black hair loose or in sensible styles.

Seeing a sister, who overnight

has chosen a more practical life.

Kandy, Sri Lanka 2016

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