Jay Marathe        Click for Photos

India is the rythm of life.

The whirr of the water pump, 

Woman calling to child, distant, enduring,

Scrape of metal pail on hard stone floor,

Thud . . thud . .thud of the washerwomans stone.

India is the warm, sweet night, chirping with crickets.

The whistle of the gurkha,

Gangs of rival dogs, scrapping, yelping, howling, 

Patrolling their rightful patch.

India is the rattle of the train, sweeping past villages,

Rising to a high pitched scream as it crosses a ravine, fishermen far below,

Carrying cultures across a continent.

India is expressive art, doleful nature,

Profusion of plants in terracotta pots,

Bare concrete homes, whitewashed rooms, creaking shutters peeling paint,

Plain, unnasuming, daubed with chalk symbols of welcome,

Filled with love, with family, with the wisdom of generations.

India is man reduced to his simplest needs and desires.

Naked man in a stone washroom, copper pot, water freshly drawn,

Soap melded from remnants, chequered chuddie on a steel wire, 

His wife passing a threadbare towel across the low curtain,

They, themselves, and all of their needs contained in a single chamber.

Their material goods, Kelvinator fridge, Onida TV, Hero Honda,

Appearing, as they are, a thin veneer of plastic kitsch upon the deeply philosophical truth.

India is hope and growth.

A surging tide of dreams, of myriad demands confined in proximity,

The battle for things, the struggle for rights,

Marketplace of ideas, crucible of labour, greed, graft and charity,

An abiding thirst for learning,

A stage upon which kings of industry may stride.

India is the resting of the soul in stillness,

Morning sunlight on bare feet, warm breeze on loose bedcovers,

The sounds of the day creeping in through the iron bars of a glassless window,

Soaring chant of classical song under open sky, the festive dawn.

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