there are days when i hold my roots with pride–they emanate from the golden, bejeweled shalwar kameez and frocks i wear, from the scent of biryani and chicken korma that lingers through khalas and chachas and cousins and sisters seated for dinner.
and then there are days when I yearn to rip those clothes from my skin, dig deep with my nails so my grandparents’ war, my people’s toil, the beat of wedding drums in my father’s village, and the dirt from a land I call ‘back home’…. bleed out.
they say that we hate our roots when we criticize some of their deepest held traditions and beliefs and adages…they don’t know that we are the first ones to defend it before the white man vilifies it with his senseless tongue. they don”t know how our mind tires of exhaustion from responding to every attack of our brown skin, of our God, of our very existence.
because it is our honor. just as it is yours.
They lay over the top of the wooden fence
i can smell
their sweet, soft scent
droplets of rain,
like clear glass,
A ray of sunlight
flows through the clouded skies
and reflects their hue
of crimson red.
if you try to put fear into me,
you will fail.
for the blood that flows
within the essence of my soul
is that of my parents,
who left their childhood
to come to a foreign land
where, to this day,
they are still deemed the Other;
for their children,
who were yet to be born
when we hear the whispers of the heart
prodding us to the depths of eventide’s end-
we simply mask
the glass threads
It all started when I was seven-
little girl of seven.
Am I the girl
enclosed in the clear reflection
of the glass mirror-
the girl scrutinizing her