Iconoclast of Childhood

My birth has touched revered soil,

Where people bury their heritage,

From the land which radiated strength,

From the time it gained independence in war.

At midnight, our soldiers rose.


I rise from the talented hands that held me,

Passed on from ancient ancestry,

Blow away, wind! Over my child, they said,

In heavy rain, humid heat, and frost.


I am from the land that honors its fallen,

And its handicraft made from blistered hands,

From everlasting love, and patriots many,

From the northeast of the rich peninsula,

By the music of the song that carries overseas.


Merry mutiny, disagreeing sisters,

And Frances, a childhood possession,

That now grew up to be a charming maiden,

At least in minds that cherish dolls.


The words that held a significance,

Eat up! Don’t make a fuss!

Be the best in what you love,

And I’m from the hands that sold,

Worli art and Madhubani paintings.


Basil and raw turmeric, always followed a cough,

Kitchen smelling of spices, in eagerly awaited dinner,

Colored lamps gave a golden hue,

Felt like a haven, friends a couple paces away.


From words did I grow up,

Sanskrit, French, Hindi, and Bengali,

Kathak dance performed amidst culture,

Of my family and country alike.

And then it all fell away.


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