Poems by

Journey from India to Australia

a poem by Ashna

Though I have left you behind, Ma, in the homeland,
I have with me in this alien land your blessings.
Papa, though I have left you behind in the homeland
your faith and your words of wisdom are my companions here.
Though I have left you alone in the homeland my brother
your love is with me in the threads of the ‘Rakhi’ I make.
Friends Pooja and Anu, though I have left you behind there
with me are memories of our childhood and adolescence.

With me are memories- that sparkle in my waking dreams:
the golden sands of Pushkar, the serene lakes of Ajmer,
peeping from my window the lamps on the road of my colony.
Shimmer, the first rain-washed leaves of the Peepul (tree),
the intoxicating flowers of the Neem (tree) in Spring,
the misty evenings of early Winter,
the mango-laden trees of peak Summer.

The tree has just been transplanted on a new soil,
but the roots run where there are founts of love,
of affection, of friendship; in every vein is that soil that is life.

New roots will grow gradually,
in time will the tree firm up in the adopted garden, and will flower again;
new fruit will form, seeds will scatter again,
will sprout- saplings will rise whose roots will be here,
whose trunks will muscle up with this soil but strengthen my own land some day…

Still somewhere in the core will be the echoes- of the land
where the grandfather tree stood, of the flute of the original seed;
the sitars of the of culture will twinkle somewhere in the background,
the rhythms of the drums of Delhi fairs and temples will be in the feet.

The tree will flower again.
The tongue will stutter, yet will try to talk the dialect of the world
where there is Ma, and Papa, and
Bhaiyya (Brother) and Chacha (uncle) where even the stranger is ‘brother’,
where the guest is not Paul or Ram not Mary or Maya but Uncle and Auntie.
The tongue will try to utter a few syllables of love.
This a vision of the waking eyes, not a mere dream!

Australia, you a lucky first world country,
a vagrant migrant from Hindustan God’s own country is in search of identity.
A floating seed is struggling to grow roots.
Alien’s the soil, seasons contrary here down under, the heart restless.
The guest is unsettled away from his kin,anxious.
Dear host, be a little patient. Lives she still in waking dreams of home.