Poets Corner

Who am I?

January 20, 2000

Who am I?

So many times I try and answer the question that so often people ask of me
'Who are you and where do you really come from?'...
The latter is easy to answer I guess as its a matter of time and geography

I tell them I was born in a country that my parents
could only describe as 'paradise on earth',
Until the ideology of one crazy man came to destroy
our very own Eden with his rhetoric ...
'Uganda is for Africans.... black Africans'... which forced my family to flee

But my ancestry and childhood years goes beyond the Dark Continent
and what the west knows as the cradle of civilisation
to a place on earth where once the gods walked
The history, the culture the language and the country
are as old as the Vedic scriptures
A place that is so overwhelming that to try and describe it in English
you could never do it justice
Mother India the world's largest democracy,
a democracy fought so hard in blood and tears by my ancestors
against the might of the British Raj in the hope that we would live free

The Raj, the jewel in the crown of the mighty British Empire
ironically was no jewel for my parents
who wanted us to be educated the British way, so that we acquire KNOWLEDGE,
the one thing no Empire or Dictator could ever take away
Knowledge of a better life, and so to a better life we came.
To England a place I call home.

But people say 'Home is where the heart is'
and that's when I question the former...Who am I really?
Physically my heart is here in London the so-called capital of the world
Mentally and emotionally I'm not so sure
I long to return to Africa and India to my countries of origin
and try and understand how it is these two places have come to shape the
person who people call SEJAL

~ Sejal. Majithia, UK.

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

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