In honor of my dear friend Ratna Ghosh
Drawings of lights and shadows
clinging to life in every corner.
Land of contrasts and contradictions.
Cornucopia of bright shining colors
smells and flavors,
exciting senses beyond understanding and tantric pleasure
sounds reimagining an ancestral India
embraced by multiple layers of modernity yet to be accomplished.
They will forever live in me.
India is to be celebrated and loved.
You know this better than me.
And yet India is a demanding lover
making us seeking ecstasies in her beauty and seductiveness
not knowing how to give pleasure to her impenetrable wonders.
Freedom lives next to slavery,
abundance next to abject poverty
globalities penetrate localities
and life goes on in the streets
as if nothing has ever happened.
Was freedom won in the struggle?
Shedding the skin of the colonized
letting India find her own voice.
Amid multiple voices,
legacies of all sorts
in a life of never ending
the iron cage imprints its daily life,
a daily batik of corrupted modernity and yet
there is its rich and subtle past living in tombs,
oral mythical legends
holy men walking naked
in the streets.
Spiritual pathways left footprints everywhere.
They cannot be fully followed
India, still seeking her global self
can ill afford to deny her millenary past
while embracing her future of multitudes.
are only one answer among the many wisdoms
still to be acquired.
Education is only one,
and yet single powerful voice of liberation
that needs to be heard.
with sense and sensibilities beyond orderly reason,
we celebrate lifting veils of
mysterious and sacred love
joining many more that preceded us
in the quest for knowledge and understanding,
in the quest for freedom and thrust
in the quest for equity, dignity and celebration of life
in the quest of identities and learning plenum.
I wonder if India
is not only mighty powerful
but loving desire for a freedom future still to be conquered.
Perhaps India is in all of us.
Written while traveling in Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Khajuraho, Varanasi, and Calcutta, India, December 2013.