Alchemy


Down with dog position, locust, cobra, standing tree.
I am the motherland expanding, pregnancy unplanned in the 21st century.
More than our people, our culture, our country.
I am Alchemy.

Raag main taal.
Rhythm and melody.

Conceived when Shiva breathes the kiss which died on the lips of his bride Parvati.

Desi, Gora, Kala
I’m every grain of rice in your Basmati, every spice in your Garam-Masala.
I’m the turmeric stain on your grandmother’s hands.
I’m eena meena dika die dama nika retika flames on your penial gland.
I’m the mala beads slipping through her fingers like display seed of sands through an hour glass.
I’m the jigsaw made from the shattered fragments of the past, pieced together in a way that works for us.

A billion strong and uprising and it’s impossible to ignore us.
The interwoven of Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Marathi, Hindi, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Nepali, Punjabi, Sindhi, Telugu, Tamil, Urdu;
Ginger, Chilly and Garlic.
Brahmin, Kshatriya, Dalit
Touch me for I’m no longer untouchable.

Capable, practically inescapable. No longer unaccountable. I’m an accountant, I programme your IT.
I’m the Chai, Latte, Ice Tea.
That the Chai Wala stares at Moongfalis.
He sighs on the rise of the middle class whispering their upwardly mobile mantra.
Thank God almighty, I am free at last.

I sing “Tumhi ho mata Hindustan
As I smoke beedis, chew paan and watch Bollywood DVD’s starring Akshay Kumar and Shahrukh Khan.
Remixing Prayanaam by whispering my mantra
“I am a disco dancer” under my breath.

Profound, primitive and superstitious.
Spread to Canada to Australia, Trinidad to Mauritius.
I will always be India.

The impoverished child that bangs the window of your ambassador car.
The old man who instead of clapping his hands simply says “Arre wah!
I am Saraswati whose veena was later remixed into the shape of a sitar.
Just like “Om mane padme hum” of the tabla drum became the “ta teri kit…tera te…” to turntables and a mixer.
I am the rickshawala.
I am the white Tiger, a survivor rising up in the drive to progress.
I am the distressed heart of Delhi, Calcutta’s cloaked streets, Bombay’s blocked arteries and an accumulation of stress
Yes!
I am Hindustan.

In the land of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and Kaun Banega Crorepati, Krishnamurthy, Vivekananda, Tagore and Arundhati, and pot-bellied elephant-headed superhero, Ganpati.Om Shanti

Om Shanti
I am the monk’s saffron robe.
I am the scent of the cinnamon, cardamom, clove.
I am the air thick with the rain and the funk of the monsoon.
I am the silver moon that Shiva wears for hair- clip.
I am the unsanctioned love marriage between Bharatnatyam and backflip.
Converse trainers under Kurta pajama and salwar-kameez.
I am the thunder of the storms on the horizon, weeping the solidified tears of Rudraksha beads.

I am Alchemy.

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