Travels to India

Compacted on the plane,  crossing oceans to get from one home to another,
I remember the slow strumming on the guitar,  his strumming – so melancholic;

The morning unveils the first fluttering of the birds on our fence,
As my thoughts wander away to the veiled woman in Pali, her face – so dusky and beautiful;

We are now ensconced once again in the comfort of our US home,
Obama roars on gun violence on public radio, his voice – so loud and stately;

Three Bollywood movies are done n dusted already, the one on friendship, is a popular flop,
Dec 25th 2015, reconnected with a friend from Hindu College days – his demeanor unchanged – so warm and funny even after 25 years;

With a broken finger early last year Mihir aced back into soccer and to the trumpet score,
2 am preparation for Math final, his determination – so what –  jet lag;

Years are indeed rolling by, fortunate to be doing innovation with Big Data, I imagine Vineet is doing his bit to solve cancer – 20 years of our marriage this year, miraculously survived, 13 years in  – so Cal;

Last year of course came to an end, this year has just begun, they say don’t live in your past, leave your past behind not your behind in past,
To learn Hindustani classical music I did ride my bicycle from GK to Sadik Nagar –  that was – so long ago;

Trips to India have been frequent, whether in odd or even numbered years, fail to remember, For Delhi commuters maybe their smartphones prompt them – which numbered car to pick,
Nevertheless, an ebbing excitement and anticipation to go each time,  not  – so much to return;

Mom, Dad, Sis, Bil, Brother, I embraced, one by one,
they fell ill on this visit, except, the little chubby dumpling, who swayed on ‘In the Jungle the mighty lion …’ song,  non-stop, his antics – so charming;

Each time, Delhi seems to morph, from the one I know more,
Something things still remain, Oberoi – pastries, Anokhi Fashion, IIT-D crossing, the guards at India Gate  – so colorful;

On the second half of this trip, the dolls arrived from Boston to Udaipur, for the dolls from London,
A tortoise basked under the winter sun on the lawns of Hotel Mahendra Prakash – a herbivore – he fancied tomatoes – as we munched nastha from Vasant Kunj – the food so delectable;

One morning, when I was ready before everyone else, I guzzled down three may be more cups of tea,
Santoor vadan playing, the number from Razya Sultan movie floated in the air, a moment – so lasting;

An Angelic team of two configured this trip, from start to end,
To bring together a beautiful family of scientists, engineers, environmentalists, activists, doctors, photographers – spanning 4 generations, its purpose – so justified;

Daytime on the bus we sang romantic songs, played cards, almost came to debate on Modi vs Kejari,
Night time, while some continued to play more games, others slept early, some GI tracts were – so feeble;

Not So Young Daughters – in – law wondered how romantic the husbands of the Daga sisters are,
Young Sons – in – law wondered about the wonders of the temples and fortresses of Rajasthan, their shots and films – so wonderful;

India is where one’s senses seem to come alive, to begin with, it is the smell,
So much happening visually, one of us marveled on the variety of manure lying around, his observation and terminology – so him;

Over 3 masala papads, agreed we went overboard, the third generation, shared their new resolutions, rather wishes,
Zucchini Restaurant was where it was, they ranged from being able to sky dive to devoting to reading more, their sharing – so meaningful;

The eldest of the third generation, answered a fleet of questions about the exquisite pillars of Ranakpur and Chittorgarh, his explanation – so  mathematical, his knowledge – so deep;

We hiked, played ping pong, plucked custard apples, ate juicy guavas, watched the monkeys screech,
Time was never short, as we managed to shop for pickles, exchange niceties over charades, and offer solemn prayers in Ranakpur – Aarti after dusk – so divine;

As one of us confessed earlier, there is so much to share, for those who could not join,
We share not to remind you of your absence, rather that we felt your presence – so much all the time;

Kuch na kaho, Kuch bhi  na kaho, a song from 1942 a love story film,
Sung very melodiously by one of the Daga sisters, we fail her, as we still continue to reflect on the trip – so hard not to;

Writing about such trips is a non-mundane task, mostly liberating as it provides self joy,
An expression of how we feel, it can possibly be a remote endeavor to spread joy – so be it;

This writing that started on the plane back, ended in the home I now call,
Although my home will always be in India, when I think about India and its progress, I think of the poem ‘Need ka nirman phir phir’…

A poem about a small bird making her home again and again,
As my thoughts wander away to the bird song my mom sang to wake me up in the morning – so clear even today!

 

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