Wicked!

India

ENFP-T

Daydreaming and procrastinating more than is healthy.

Writer's block and sleep deprivation are my constant companions.

Community Ambassador Alum

[pfp: cover art for "Wild World" by Bastille]

Message to Readers

The references/translations:
—The name ‘India’ was derived from Sindhu, the Sanskrit name for the river Indus.
—The first couple of lines refer to the Vedas, which are ancient Hindu religious texts. They’re supposed to be orally transmitted ‘divine revelations.’
—“vermillion in parted hair” refers to Sindoor, a traditional vermilion powder “usually worn by married women along the part of their hair.”
—Chillum is a smoking pipe made of clay; sadhus are religious ascetics or mendicants; moksha is freedom from the cycle of death and rebirth.
—“love immortalised in mausoleums” is a reference to the Taj Mahal that was built by an emperor in memory of his favourite wife.
—The second half of the second paragraph is all references to deities in Hindu mythology.
—Gandhi and his non-violence pretty much overshadow the Indian freedom movement. The revolutionaries are relatively well known, but most Indians can name only like three female freedom fighters.
—A saree is usually six metres of cloth and is wrapped around a woman’s body.
—The primary witness in Hindu weddings is the fire deity, in the form of the consecrated fire. Red is symbolic of a Hindu woman’s matrimony, so most Hindu brides are decked up in red.
—On Holi, a Hindu festival, people throw powdered colours and water on each other and basically everywhere. “Bura na maano, Holi hai” roughly translates to “don’t be offended/annoyed, it’s Holi” and means how literally everyone is fair game on Holi. So if a random stranger throws a bucket of water on you on Holi, you can’t really fight with them about it.
—“Abode of snow” is the meaning of ‘Himalaya’ in Sanskrit.

[wow this is long]

child of the sindhu | #childofyournation

July 11, 2020

FREE WRITING

18


i am the child of ancient wisdom remembered as divine revelations / preserved in hymns on birch-bark pages // of vermillion in parted hair / clinking of bangles and henna-stained hands // of temples carved from rocks / spires reaching toward the cerulean expanse / pillars adorned with nymphs and flowers, deities and demons // of philosophy too vast to comprehend / but i remember karma and nirvana


i come from the land of chillum-smoking sadhus / with their matted dreadlocks and ash-smeared foreheads / ascetic seekers of moksha // of love immortalised in mausoleums / with arches, domes, minarets / surrounded by elegant gardens // of gods with black skin, but we pretend it's blue / they hold up mountains with just their little finger / they nestle the moon in their dreadlocks // of goddesses that ride lions / wear garlands of skulls and of skirts of tiger-skin / her tongue is stained with demons' blood


i am born of independence that they say came from ahimsa / non-cooperation and civil disobedience / satyagraha and salt marches / but we remember the young revolutionaries / we remember the women they don't talk about // of the six metres of cloth / draped around a woman's curves // of the holy fire that bears witness to your marriage / and red is all you can see now // of colours i smear on your skin / and throw up in the air / bura na maano, holi hai 


i am the daughter of the abode of snows // of fields of sunflowers and wheat and mustard stretching till the horizon // of crowded streets and busy bazaars // of holy rivers that we forget to not pollute // of coconut oil massaged into the scalp // of milk that you add just as the tea boils out of the vessel; else it isn't chai // of gully cricket in narrow lanes // of spices that attack your senses and then lull you into a sweet melancholy // forget your sorrows, won't you?

 

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  • July 11, 2020 - 1:35pm (Now Viewing)

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6 Comments
  • spurtsofdarkness

    replying: yup, but then i'll lose all the comments and likes, better to die in glory rather than live with a revised poem. i write what i need to say. although, i have a million more love poems up my sleeve, so don't worry ranger, we gonna be there once again


    5 months ago
  • birthdaycandles

    my my my, i’ve always felt like part of my heart belonged in india ever since i did a project on it for my geography class a few years ago, you’ve created such vivid imagery with your diction (as Dmoral13 detailed) so it really invites the reader into the piece, well done this is fantastic, you should be so proud :)


    5 months ago
  • Dmoral

    "ancient wisdom remembered as divine revelations"
    your diction here is beautiful, this such a lovely way to open--you had me hooked right here!

    " surrounded by elegant gardens // of gods with black skin, but we pretend it's blue"
    this spoke to me and i'm not quite sure why. i think it's how the tone of "pretend it's blue" just got to me and yeah, i loved this.

    "we remember the women they don't talk about"
    history is written by men and winners, so this was amazing because this speaks of cultures passing down history and not just "textbook" history and for that i stan

    "of holy rivers that we forget to not pollute"
    this is you calling society out, isn't it? because it's so true and it's shameful and the way you state this so effortlessly makes me think about it even more.

    "of spices that attack your senses and then lull you into a sweet melancholy // forget your sorrows, won't you?"
    these last lines are my favorite. they're so so so powerful, it's incredible. the figurative language here too is outwardly. i feel like the latter line should be painted on all our skins because honestly, it makes me think like crazy. and the fact it's a "question", ughhh so good.

    amazing amazing amazing work, and--how was i not following you before? good thing i fixed that. also, definitely on the lookout for more of your work!!
    p.s
    sorry my comment is lateee


    5 months ago
  • Dmoral

    YOUR DICTION----AHHHHH!
    imma have to come back later and properly comment on this piece!!


    5 months ago
  • outoftheblue

    oh man I love this so much!
    Especially all the contrasts between the good, bad and the ugly like "of gods with black skin, but we pretend it's blue" and "but we remember the young revolutionaries / we remember the women they don't talk about" and that ending is just excellent.
    (Also, your message to readers is the most relatable thing I have seen on WtW)


    5 months ago