Poets Corner

Bharata

June, 2000

This land is my land
Where did the name come from anyway?
India
Nice enough but named by the British
Nice enough if I think about it hard after the identity crisis, the racial slurs,
the West claiming my men
No, my land is the Bharata, where silk flows freely with gold interwoven
My flag? Not the pale orange and green
My flag is the burgundy, red-brown,and bright
My flag is the nine yards that make a sari
It drapes around my body the way the green grass drapes the soft earth
My chakra, my wheel is the kum kum, Bindi on my forehead
It can be the brown of my brown skin
Or the red of my river that flows
It is placed in the center of my forehead, my third eye, my energy source
It symbolizes that the blood had flown freely from me
My river... allowing me to bear the fruit of my country

~ Chetana Jois in Philadelphia, USA.

Chetana Jois is a graduate of Villanova University and has been reading her original work in front of audiences for the last five years. Frequent appearances at October Art Gallery in Olde City, Philadelphia, UPenn, Asian Arts Initiative, Power 99 FM, Jazz 90 WRTI.

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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