Exiled at Home


I find it amusing, yes when people refer to their nation as the Mother Land.
My mother’s land is not mine. I have no claim over it.
I’m a traveller here; someone who stands in queues
To buy tickets for lunch and for daily rides. I decide to buy tickets,
And not avail them. For every ride distances me. From what, I ask!
I am yet to answer the question.
I buy the tickets and stand at the ghats. The river here is not called the Ganga.
It looks like her though; the same nasal tone in her voice,
The desire to kiss the fading sun still the same; and at night,
It reflects the longing for the day to reconcile with the fresh verses
That the morning presents her in the soulful choir of the ferry-ghat.
I am present there—every morning, afternoon, evening, night.
Patiently for hours, days, weeks, months–
To see, witness, and perhaps understand
What differentiates this land from my home? How is this not my home?
Why can’t this be my home?

A citizenship is both a privilege and a limitation.
It helps you build a root, and when you stand in full glory and maturity
You are stuck there, static in time; for ages—
A citizenship never grows old, never meets death; and surely is never young.