I am always asked about my posts and articles that I write. People ask me why I live in the past so much. Why I talk about my youth and childhood, and why I always bring the Indian part of my life on to these pages.
How can I not live in the past? It is here, in my heart, always. It beats in my chest and runs in my blood. So what that I left my beautiful land and moved onto another lap of the same earth? So what if there are thousands of miles between this and that? So what that this land is called the Land of Opportunity, and wealth and opulence?
The land I came from, did not view color as the make or break of the human existence. The land I belonged to, had peace in the hearts of the people it cradled. It taught respect and genuine humility. It taught love. And love came naturally. When you look into the eyes of the people in India, you saw compassion, you saw longing to understand a different culture, you saw hospitality and you saw a mother’s and a father’s love. Men and women who ran for various Government posts, recognized their limits; I am sure there was corruption to a certain extent. But no one insulted another human being for his disability, or color or race or religion.
Today I sit here and watch the treasonous speeches by so called moguls of the nation, and I cringe. And I wonder, why did I come here? How could this land be the land of love and compassion and understanding, which I grew up with? I cannot even begin to compare the two lands. I want to go back to my land of the beautiful green paddy fields, and large shady trees, where travelers sat and rested and shared each other’s food.
Do you know now why I live in the past and write about the other land so much and so often? Come live within the four chambers of this old heart and feel what it feels, and then you will know the reasons for all the why’s of this land!
Zakiah Sayeed Ali.
March 16th 2016.