Curry, cricket & culture – Part 2

My South African soles step onto Indian soil, these are my stories…


It has been one week here, my spirit feels weak here, unworthy.

Cecilia’s in-laws are both blind.
Her step mom speaks of smallpox,
how it robbed 40 children of their site and 39 of their lives.
She is the sole survivor, the final remnant.

I don’t know much about her father in-law
but he tells a story of footing over bodies for freedom.
They have both felt multiple manifestations of pain,
yet the first thing they utter is;
“Be happy.”

Grandma takes my hand, guides me to her temple and points.
“Ganesha, Brahma, Vishnu, Rama…”
I wonder when her tales of triumph will be told?
There are 33 million gods in this place, I have already met two.

My belly has wrestled Delhi street food and won.
Been lost in translation, and in the back seat of a cab.
I have seen marketplaces lit up like the 4th of July.
“Fresh Fish!”
I will never take I&J for granted again.

Witnessing Ikenna Onyegbula perform is like seeing solar systems collide.
Chaotic to the naked eye but controlled beyond human comprehension.
A symphony in the sky, the Ludwig of his craft.

We had our first Delhi Poetry Slam weekend workshop.
These kids are more than teenagers,
they hold truth between their teeth.
Gnashing knowledge, their molars squeeze out wisdom’s.
Their tongues lash labels.

Conformity is in the water, but they learned long ago not to drink that shit.

They are rebels that read.
Alchemists, mad witches waging war with their wands.
They feast on the ink of the innocent.
Cry inside A5’s,
mend dark with pen marks.

By day they may be forced to adhere to a strict set of rules,
but as night nears and order falls asleep.
They peep inside their notebooks, Narnia awaits.
This is their world!
They are creatures of creation.
I bow before their presence…

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