I am not ambitious for ecstasy, you will ask me to think of the future, but the decade to come pales before this second, the span of my life is less important than its quality. I want to sit here in the mild sun and try not to think, try and escape the iniquity of the restless of my mind. Do you understand. Doesn’t anyone understand the absence of ambition, or the simplicity of it.
As I stood on the balcony, I could hear the typical swooshing sound coming from opposite directions – from the two ends of the street. From my vantage point, I could see what could be termed as a quintessential morning sight in rural India representing all generations leading up to mine – women up and about in the morning, bending down with one arm behind their back and the other clearing away leaves and debris from their front-yard with a broom typically made of the dried spines of coconut leaves.
To me Mumbai was a dot on the map that we were taught to mark for 5 marks in geography class. There it was, just below the large mass jutting out like a misshapen right claw off India’s body. The dot was Bombay when I started school and Mumbai by the time I finished.
I had two unexpected encounters with American history and politics the other day. A novel, The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah and a poem, The Hill We Climb, by Amanda Gorman. I wrote about the former in an earlier post. This one is about the poem.
I want to be there, in the land of writers and singers and dreamers. Where the nights float away against a bonfire as the gentle strumming of guitar strings lets me step on the moon. Where colourful people sit against pale stone walls and tell each other stories of surreal survival. Where hope rises like a phoenix from the ashes of sorrow, and poetry lights up our souls with each other’s glow. Where magic lurks in the corners of strangers’ smiles, and we drown out our collective insecurities with thumping heartbeats. Where the spirit of a lost song forms from our silences and lets its lyrics fall on our barren tongues like raindrops.