And so it begins
Another arbitrary milestone
Making new beginnings
To a life better than what was had
The last 365 days
For a promise of change
Set the mind free
Stretch limbs high
Bend back low
Connect to the earth
Find your center, your heart
Is all we've got
Don't try to catch it, hold it down
Now it's here
Now it's gone
writing struck me
though jolted to the ground
I rise steadily enough
find my two feet bolstered
by toes of words
throngs of rhymes
holding my knees steady
Thighs that rest
on the rhythm of prose
hips telling stories
tummy tales of gastronomic adventures
semi-colons lining my colon
ideas digested to be thrown out
heart breaks nestled in periods and commas
shoulders weary from heavy paragraphs
lumps in my throat swallowing criticism
eyes noticing patterns
fingers gliding to create verse
and muscles holding it all
Three hundred days of writing
on and with my body, and mind that grows
My home is no longer a place
but hearts my heart beats with
Holds my eyes can shut tight with trust
Hand-holds that say loudly, "You're home"
without a single sound chirped
Music from a Christmas gift while spades and hearts are laid out on tables
Smells of rum-soaked walnuts baking in vanilla hugs
Pokes from the needles of the tree we lovingly clothe with memories and moments of homes and hearts
Fluffy peppermint kisses
Saving gift tags from "Suparna 1, 2, 3..." for 9 years
A warm meal on a cold December night
made with love and shared over stories and wine
(Sometimes cheap wine too ; )
Home is where the heart beats
its most calm joyful beat,
beats that thump with excitement
and slow to a slow rhythm made of that quintessential comfort of knowing
this heart is at home
Little joys can sometimes
multiply to make big hearts beat as one
such is the joy of being with a parent
little moments that I can lean into
feel a little twang of certainty
and let it all sink in
till it hits the edge of
being taken for granted
not with a cushion of entitlement
but an embrace of knowing
that it's going to be okay
we're funny creatures of love
so much of us is just blood floating
with aim to continue moving
we even forget
knowing that letting go may mean less pain
because shackles of control
end up imprisoning your own heart
that you set out to free
freeing means free to breathe, and
pain that heals
This weight is finally weighing on me
weighed me down
to a heavy piece of mess
that's going to take a long time
to clean up
to wipe off the dust
scrub off the stickiness
the walls I've built
the tears I've spilt
the bricks I've thrown
the masks I've worn
It's time to unearth
the layers I've buried so artfully
that everyone but I
It's time to let go
like the last leaf on that fall tree
braving wind, weather, and will
there's no bravery in fighting
what must be
and what will become
courage squeaks silently
on the fringes of acceptance
This glass got too full
Not half empty
Too heavy to hold up
If you set it down
Let's fill it up with
And take turns holding it up
So it never gets so heavy
That our hands let go
And we're left with scars and
How is it that my stomach,
know that my heart aches?
Our bodies are wise
telling stories our
words haven't figured out a way to share
but I wish my body weren't so
then it wouldn't be in pain
in solidarity with this aching heart
that hasn't fully understood
all the pieces it has broken into
and where its pieces are scattered
but it'll be this weary body of
that will have to pick up the pieces
Today my Daddy, my nana, would've been 103. I think about him often. His wisdom, his legacy, his moments of triumph, his vulnerabilities, his daughters, his grandchildren, his dreams, his points of view, his dislikes, his fears. I never did get to spend much time with him, but I imagine he must've been a noble loving man...human to have known.
Today, I think of him and all he has created, given life to, and left behind to start anew.
And I think about us. I look forward to reading your long letter to me : )
I love you,
Born shy of a world changing
shephard younger ones
blaze paths unseen
find Divya to cross seas with
leave shoes too big to fill
a heart with
a smile that said
I see your mischievous eyes
And I raise you a naughty grin
wit, warmth, and winks
left us in
love and wonder
At the airport today, I saw that Absolut has been working towards equality for decades. I wish a colorful vodka bottle could change the world. How easy would that be? Have a swig, erase your biases, wear your colors with pride...
Anyhow, booger update: sepia is the chromatic theme for today. Looks like the antibiotics kicked in and got rid of the colorful stuff.
Lungs update: breathing a little fuller but it's much colder here in Kathmandu.
City update: it's confusing. Things available in black. People have decided to stop mourning and seem to be getting used to living in shortage. Stores have very expensive groceries and are filled with flashlights, emergency equipment, and first aid kits. Even liquor stores are selling induction stoves and cookware. Resiliency? Complacency? Flexibility? I don't know.
I do know I love you,
P.S. : I have concluded sitafal is my favorite fruit.
Today, when I woke up, my booger was a vivid shade of green. Soon after breakfast, it turned a gory yellow. Right after dinner, it was a polluted grey. I have a full blown sinus infection after 7 days on antibiotics. This pollution is killing me. Delhi's government is working to combat this obvious problem of murderous air. It had issued a warning to elderly and children to not leave their homes during peak hours because the air is toxic. The air is toxic. One of the saddest parts of this situation, apart from slowly witnessing my lungs corrode, is that car pollution aside, it's developed countries that are the biggest culprits when it comes to climate crime. By outsourcing production to the developing world, and not upholding international standards, they leave developing countries drowning in diesel and choking on industrial fumes.
My heart aches and my lungs collapse in bouts of uncontrollable coughs.
How much can we hurt our planet, our home...
My lungs are protesting this thick cloud pretending to be air. I asked of the banyan, of its infinite wisdom, what will become of our air, our world. I didn't get answers. But I got color, a lively day, new experiences, and more tar into my lungs.
Since November 6th, it's been go, go, go for this one! Is a wonder I made it to November 30th without a spell of sickness. I've been so careful to only eat ghar ka khana, home food is my favorite, which helps! I've been careful not to eat anything raw, cleaned my utensils obsessively if I do eat out, and etc. Funny, how at the end of it, it was exhaustion and some indigestion that won the prize of knocking me out.
I have been planning the next few days for the last few years and I'm so hoping I don't mess it up with sickness.
Therefore, today will be a day of rest, meds, khitchadi, dahi, and ORS!
I love you,
Jeff is doing better! Good news!! Sighing sighs of relief!
Suparna got sick :(
Not a pleasant feeling but I feel better knowing I'm surrounded by doctors.
We rode a train and it was so magical and sweet. I think trains still live in an India of my past, perhaps even the past of my ancestors. Sure, they're cleaner and a little more pest-free than those of years ago, but still, the charm of getting tea in a thermos, and all the stuff for the tea in a little pouch labeled "chai samagri", and getting cutlets with ketchup and making your own buttered-bread sandwich, and those smells! And smells were all I had because my tummy decided to give up on me after almost two months of being in the sub-continent.
I love you. Thanks for your happy thoughts,
By a matter of chance, I got to go briefly to my old school for a visit! It was surreal being there and walking through corridors I have sneaked around, cried, giggled, run away from classes, made incredible memories, and even managed to learn something in! As soon as I walked down the steps of the main entrance, I started to see familiar faces. Of attendants, teachers, and more. It was also bizarre how little the kids seemed. I was them not *that* long ago and felt so incredibly big, invincible, and all-knowing. The blissful delusion of teenagehood. I felt old. And happy to be back. Grills in windows had changed. Paint had been touched up. New plants had been sown. Trophies had been shined. But Marwah Ma'am looked the same as she did when I was a difficult 15 year old. I saw their new principal, Rampal Ma'am. And kids and attendants called me ma'am. Which obviously strikes me as odd having now worked in schools where little amazing humans called me 'Suparna'. I was also pleasantly taken aback when my Sanskrit and biology teachers recognized me! They were surprised too since they hadn't seen or heard from me in over a decade. It was special and sweet.
Then, it was a mad rush to get to the airport to see Jeff.
I love you,
Today I got to go down memory lane with seeing friends and family! Some of whom I hadn't met in 11 years and some who I met for the first time!
All in all, I think something Didi shared with me today about what Thich nhat Hahn says about acknowledging our ancestry. I also had a conversation about Khalil Gabrail's poem Children. Both of these reminders are important when we think about what has been, where we come from, and those who are yet to see life.
My school friends have known me, and I them, for over 15 years now. It's funny when you meet someone who reminds you a part of yourself you may have forgotten. Or perhaps misplaced. It's a frightening feeling. But past that horizon of fear, lies a sense of comfort and warmth of affirmation. A sense of knowing that I did exist before the existence I so clearly carved for myself. It's fun to hear the stories people remember of those times gone by. Stories that are indelible pages in a book that is still being written.
What's our story going to be like?? I can't wait to keep writing it.
It's been interesting talking to people about matters of growth, development, progress, and such. Matters such as these always excite emotions, elicit deep-rooted feelings about the world, and sometimes cause much uproar. Every taxi and auto driver I have heard talking so far has had something to say about the political nuisances in our world, which often create more geopolitical concerns than solve them. It's amazing to hear what others are feeling and thinking. Voices not represented in popular media. I also watch a young girl working as domestic help because her father has made her leave school. He couldn't stop her from learning though. She asked me for my nonexistent iPad to play games on it and to YouTube the latest Punjabi rap music. Talk about access. And the lack of it.
It's interactions like that that made me want to teach. And it's interactions like these that make me wonder why I'm not teaching here.
Also today, us family folk went for a multiple course meal. It was sweet, fancy, and filled with nice memories.
You would've liked it,
We spent Thanksgiving in Sri Lanka and soon after said our goodbyes and headed to the motherland.
When we got to the airport, we propitiously met with more family and then headed through terrible traffic only to be greeted by a loud wedding band. It was quite entertaining until we realized that even after we got in, closed all the doors, yelled at the top of our lungs, we still couldn't hear ourselves, let alone each other. Noise pollution at its best.
I was then informed that I needed to get ready to attend said wedding. So I did.
Then I slept like a baby.
|Turmeric - ginger's cousin|
|Sri Lanka for me|
|It's so cool how cardamom grows!|
|Nutmeg - the fruit, the seed, and the flower.|
|A vine tree!|
|Life's problems getting fixed with this awesome balm of power.|
|The golden stupa outside|
|Buddha and Mangoes|
|It was quite the experience watching the clouds floating by above his powering figure.|
|Many steps to climb up this hill!|
|Much sweat to drip!|
|Many monkeys to observe|
|We get blue skies, a steady breeze, and...|
|...the entrance of this enchanting cave temple!|
|2nd century statues in caves discovered in the 12th!|
|Cave paintings in their original form|
|Why, humans, why?|
|The dramatic view that greeted us - that's Sigiriya Rock in the far background|
|Rat shaped coconut?? I don't mind me some!|
|Elephant or women in harmony?|
|Umm...don't touch that painting!|