I am from…
The lovely building
Where I played with my friends
At the age of 6
While he ogled from the other end.
I am from the swings
The slides, the seasaw and laughter,
From the cherished monsoon of 1990
And not from what he did to me soon after.
I am from the motherly love of my babysitter,
Whom I called “aai”, or mother in Marathi.
From that first taste of meat and fish
that she lovingly cooked for me.
I am from her delicious spicy mutton curry,
That I’d gulp down in a hurry,
From the maddening smell of rassa,
That stays with me to this day.
Neatly, deeply, lovingly knitted into my life
I am from the spice in Maharashtrian food.
I am from the peanuts, garlic, and the rich coconutty konkan curries
That love me in my lowest moods.
For they are me. And I am from them.
I am from trust, faith, and innocence
From joy, laughter, and pain.
I am from hugs and love for my baby sitter
I have not lost, I gained.
I am from acceptance and from rebellion
I am from anger but from wisdom
I am brave and I remember
I am from my memories.
Not just some.
I am from all my memories.