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.