The Place I Call Home
An Ode to jersey City, New Jersey ,my home for more than 15 years
I'm from the most diverse city in the nation, a nation's icon, its pride
A melting pot of its own kind—
cradling the identity of everyone in its womb
I’m from heaps of spices and color-filled festivals marinated with bay leaf
turmeric-laced hands, I’m from eyes filled with endless dreams
carrying our identities across the border,
calling this piece of land our beloved new“home”.
I’m from Diwali, Christmas tree, Holi, and Easter Egg, together
giving a new meaning to our festivals back home
I’m from dressing up for Halloween,
while filling a home with the aroma of homemade Diwali sweets.
I’m from carrying our hyphenated identities with accented voices across the border
like a dandelion trying to stay rooted—
living a life perched at the crossroads of being judged
Thinking always “Does an immigrant have a right to be heard?”.
I’m from working hard and ignoring slurs hurled at the Townsquare
“Go Back to where you belong” ringing like hot lava in our veins
Still carrying the love for the land and people, we now call our home
carving hyphenated identities for our loved ones, evermore.
I’m from the land of Buddha and Gandhi, the sound of “OM” ringing in our ears for eternity, where nonviolence is the sacred core of one’s existence and its sanctity.
I’m now from a place that teaches the meaning of empathy, coexistence, and acceptance that teaches you might be broken but you are not done yet.
Is the Blood Drained Enough This Time?
More than 349,000 students have experienced gun violence at school since Columbine - Washington Post
The darkness of this arcane truth keeps getting mystifying. It takes yet another senseless incident for our not-so-intelligent brains to find the viridity of the truth.
The truth with its stained teeth that laughs at us every time we look in the mirror,
mind seeded with a bowlful of questions like maggots trying to find their way out of rotten fruit,
after everything good and golden has been masticated. A truth stripped of its logic and sense.
We know that the silvery truth lies in the core seed of everything which is pure but forgotten.
The innocent cries of the soft innocent bodies in the cold corridors of the school, whose walls are now painted with the dark shade of dried blood instead of the rainbow laugh that once bounced back uninhibited in these closed corridors.
Who are we to define freedom with our false sense of perceptions? Does a handful of weapons sticking out of a tight belt with its metallic craving for death, curbing the laughter of many, make this country free and great?
The brackish taste of death impinged on the small graves carving their screams in the shallow womb of earth devoid of their existence.
How much more blood do we need from the bodies of our young and vulnerable to irrigate the parched earth of our motherland to satiate its endless thirst?
The land doused with the blood of those innocent supple hands crumbling under the weight of small bones—a cold quarry of screeched screams resonating endlessly
in the cold corridors of our schools begging one question: Is the blood drained enough this time?