Where I am from ~

I am from a land of ghee, paranthas and lassi
from spicy delicacies, hot filter coffee, and whipped buttermilk
A place that welcomes exploratory munchies and bites
from vanilla scoops, semolina pancakes and blueberry muffins

I am from the room that spills beige
panels that reflect teenage struggles and
corners that witnessed tear storms & piercing heartbreaks

I am from the blue orchids and jasmine seedlings,
the bouquet of tulips
and a stream of lavender buds

I am from arranging ludo pieces
and yelling in the face of my dad to cease
his treachery in the four-coloured game

From the house
of Sanskrit shlokas
and chants & myths

I am from failing to
remember where I kept my cell
and trusting my dear ones blindly
without an ounce of scepticism

From “don’t step out of the apartment”
and “hope you aren’t hurt, we’ll handle the rest”

I am from bowing my head to the first feminist God, Shiva,
and putting my faith in a saint, Sai, who
was actually a man that teemed
with kindness and tonnes of it

I’m from the capital of the most secular country,
from waves birthing under my feet and the shore
comforting my soul at dusk
From ghazals of Nusrat Fateh Ali
and home to Moghul khansamahs
From gazing at the sky for hours, the artistic tombs that
ooze rich heritage and the gullies that
come alive from the chatter of “I spy” as we
try to camouflage ourselves to ace the bout

I am from loves unfelt and sunsets unseen
from folks of deserts and vibrant regional prints
the orb of affections, warmth
and the books unread

I am from inventory games
of spinning a wheel in amusement
and the nation of 33 million deities
from the world that lies within chawls
and 50 lac slums

I am from the land of raw authenticity,
pretentious classes & complexes,
the one that is my strongest suit
and my reason to prepare self for the battlefield

I am from the oppressed, the unheard
the ‘traditionally-bound to be a lady’ world
From nuptial leash in my neck
to constraining anklets that make me no
less than a sheep from the herd

I am from proudly regressive
and forever developing country
that boasts of playing unfairly
with different races, colours, and classes

I am from a world where
women are tired of proving
their calibre and breaking the glass ceilings
from a place where I am regarded as the second gender
and often shamed for standing on the same plane as others
as I hear slangs and cusses adorning my identity

I am from a place that
yearns to be of its own
Rightfully. Well-deservingly.
And because it is time it should be!

– Vedika

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