Author Topic: republic day  (Read 3207 times)

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Offline Soft Words

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republic day
« on: February 01, 2009, 05:14 AM »
I'm from India. January 26 is Republic Day in India, the anniversary of the adoption of our Constitution, the day we became a true republic. Its a pretty big deal.
There are parades and flag-hoisting ceremonies all over the place. National holiday, bank holiday, day for having fun and watching patriotic movies, listening to patriotic music and speeches and hoping some of that will stick around in one's brain till the upcoming history exam.
This year, I was on a greyhound bus all of Jan 26. This is the revised version of the pome that I wrote on that epic bus ride from Chicago to New Orleans.


Republic day


A couple of continents over,
in the land of my birth, they are celebrating history
wrung of tears and blood and bullets
and a few exalted sheets of paper.
It is not for me to be standing at attention,
shoulders back and chest thrust out
in forbidding heat and humidity,
saluting a few obese people clinging to their seats,
wondering what a breeze would feel like.

Instead, I ride past
rolling farmlands, grasslands
green in the winter. I am a fly on the wall,
a fleck of spittle, a side note
stained with adventure, blood-red
in the euphoric possibility of discovery.

Testing soils before I drop anchor,
lying awake in strange beds,
living in clothes that reek
of unrestful sleep
and someone else’s sardine sandwich,
I travel through the snowlands
of modern America.

The words scare me as I find them
strewn about the icky floor
of a mostly empty greyhound bus,
a cacophony of schizophrenic monsters
demanding to be taken home.

Life isn't about waiting for the storms to pass, it's about learning to dance in the rain.