Ruchi Acharya

Kavita

From my mother I learnt
how to winnow the puzzling words
of Devanagari,
how to stitch them
and build a world of paradise.
She speaks Hindi,
language of dancing peacocks,
marigold gardens.
It sounds like tuning a Sitar.

Time flies by,
I’m stuck in a language trap
in a foreign land,
a thousand miles away
from Taj Mahal.
I stammer, I stay quiet,
I restrict myself
and fall behind.

At the end of the tunnel
I swept back to the beginning
How my mother taught me
the meaning of these words:
‘Himmat’, ‘Vishwas’, and ‘Vijay’
‘Courage’, ‘trust’, and ‘victory’.
Determined I wonder,
Do we speak languages or do
languages speak to us?

That starry night I realize
our emotions value language,

I smile
the moment I recite
Kavita on the stage.
I am wearing my mother’s saree,
A carefully placed 
red dot on my head.

Now, I can trust myself
No longer am I afraid of 
speaking another
language
I trace my steps back to
where my journey started and
I can see my mother fetching
water from the well.
Her bangles rattle and 
her mind is lost staring
into hollow darkness.
She sits on her rocking chair
with a cup of Chai, wrapped
in her Pashmina shawl
in the wooden cabin
amidst the Kashmir valleys
The Anjora rabbit hops,
she waits and notices
a younger reflection of
herself paving the way.
She runs, they meet and hug
and write Kavita like good-old days.

***

Ruchi Acharya is a Business Analyst by profession. She is an Oxford University summer graduate in English Literature. She has been a contributor to multiple writing platforms such as The Pangolin Review, Overachiever magazine, Rigorous Magazine, Detester magazine, Loose Tooth Magazine, Rhodora, Borderless Journal, and Mulberry Literary review among 50 others. Currently, she lives in India with her two-year-old doe.