The sun was etched on my face,
Already red and burning,
And yet, it had only been a day
And some. I didn't even feel it,
Because I lifted it towards the trees,
So they'd see my smile. With it,
I embraced not only them, but
All of Madras, every corner
I'd ever had the chance to wander through
Or explore, even just in stories
Passed down and passed on
With the people who told them.
It is strange,
How this city has grown on me
Over years of rare visits
That family politics ensured.
And it is strange how,
I consider it home. Almost
As if I'd never seen Venice,
Nor Thanjavur or Paris, paling slowly
In an unnecessary comparison,
I am in awe, no more than a child
And I am desperate to belong.
I want to live here,
So much is obvious to anyone who
Looks beyond my sunburn
And broken, illiterate Tamil.
I want to be here,
Even just in part, so that I too
Can gather my own history.
This, I won't have etched, but perhaps
Gently gathered around me,
In the folds of my sari, in the words
I would by then, have learnt to speak.