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Saturday, May 05, 2012

What Farewell?

Context: I'm leaving home today, after spending pretty much all my life in Mumbai, for New Delhi. One too many people who know this asked if I would miss home. Sufficient provocation for one who resorts to poetry at the drop of a hat anyway.


De urbe prima in Indis
First city of my life, too
My gateway to the world
‘City of Dreams’ they name you,
Two dozen years you’ve nurtured me
And all my dreams within.

Now comes the time to chase them beyond your boundaries
Consoling myself with the delusion
That you might weep to see me go -
Though only two drops of your tears
And a crinkled, wet-eyed smile –
Delusion, I know.
The city that never sleeps
Will hardly miss one insomniac.

As for my part?
I would say I’ll miss you
If such a thing were possible.
We both know it isn’t though:
To live here is to leave your soul here,
To leave you is an illusion.

Your winds have nursed me to sleep,
Your bright sky has been my roof,
A boundless horizon
Birthing boundless dreams beneath,
For you have grown in me
As I have grown within.

Leave you?
What madness:
The rhythm of your rails is the cadence
My heart knows best
It beats in time,
My breath rises and falls with your waves,
The bright red that runs in your roads
Runs in my veins alike,
If I toil, and stand soaked in my sweat
It is to feel I am drenched in your rains,
The glorious hues of your sunsets
Are the palette to which my imagination aspires,
My dreams walk your lamplit colonnades
Tonight, and every night.
I couldn’t leave you behind if I tried.

This, where the road takes me now
This is just a detour,
Wait & watch
You’ll see, McArthur had it right,
Because I know you,
I know your nature
It is hope, and -
I shall return, my hope, my light, my love,
To you, I shall always return.
Mi yeto.

* Mi yeto is Marathi, literally, "I will come (back)".
The belief is that, when leaving someone's home, it is inauspicious to say that one is leaving ("mi nighto" / "mi jato"). Better the promise to return, sincere or otherwise!

1 comment:

  1. Its a great ode. Something quite akin to what I felt when I left last year.