In India, the summers are waves
of lingering beauty hugging on to
the sky. I remember running wild
into the rain once, wet and dancing
knowing this was how it felt to be alive.

She's my aunt not by relation
but by love, reminding me
of a drift of a never ending warmth.
Vacations at her place are
happy days. Nothing but apathy
and good food and good music
and talking of hating bloody politicians.

She loves cooking. I see her
bustling around in the kitchen,
the air being as flavored as the food
It smells of turmeric and chilies
swirling like her dreams of becoming
a world famous Indian cuisine cook.
She laughs when I tell her I want
to be a writer. She says, "Well then
that makes two of us wanting
to break into impossible careers"

Her eyes sift through the room,
grey and stony like the idol god
she prays to before bed, and early
in the morning.
Blue, her bangles radiate the sky
in the metal clinks of their sheen
They know of colors and of making
saffron hands seem flawless.

Saris that hold grace between
pockets in the folds. The red shades
of her clothes jump at me, smiling about
being cultured and I with western attire
grin back shamelessly having only
two kurtas in my closet
to testify my Indian-ness.

The incense sticks at dawn
makes me sway, as she breaks out
into a prayer song in front of her
hindu god. I watch, never trying to learn
because it seemed too profound
and her language never really caught
in my throat. Perhaps like a fish escaping the net.
The language is mine too yet I do not own it.

From her window at night I see
a temple, a mosque and a church
all within walking distance
and in between people moving hurriedly
all folding into the same culture,

breathing in the same air,
under the same hundred stars
that look down upon
India, the country where I belong.


a/n- Saris and kurtas are two types of Indian attire