ANCESTORS & AUDITS I

RICHA NAGAR

What connects us?

Beyond the un/disciplined

              jargon we share

despite languages that

                                          s  e  p  a  r  a  t  e

              dis-

connect  (without) DiSsoNance

a desire to trust?

 

A thirst that

tells me to retell

              stories I can only utter

in the loneliness of languages

not understood

 

a faith that

this retelling

shall

not go unfelt

 

Or followed by

burdens               of having unleashed

              another heart-

              ache

                            another wound

              inherited from ancestors

before someone

who

regrets having been

Recipient of

(un)bound fears.

 

Fears of

bonding               b__o__r__d__e__r – less

stories inherited

              retold

                            buried                             banished.

May I begin with

deaths I missed?

 

Absented myself from?

 

Deaths of those loved 

now ancestors

whom i

owe

apologies

for leaving their side

thousands of miles away

so i could conclude

certain wars

              certain audits here?

 

So they could go in peace there?

 

Audits that prevented me

from saying goodbyes to bodies

whose blood

crumbled

their own bones?

 

Battles against investigations

unleashed as punishment

to break spirit

              that proved more resilient

than the venom that sought to kill?

 

Apologies

for taking care of

offspring unsure

whether they were wanted

by life?

 

Apologies to those who made me,

now ancestors, who burned

thousands of miles away

in the heat of summer (there)

              at the arrival of spring (here)

 

Singing between seasons

forgiving my absence

as they had done before

for flying off               for Education

our “homes” are deemed unfit to give

 

To do better than they did?

 

So i could become more

worthy?

 

Worthy enough to

conclude with dignity

the fights against audits

and

Investigations

in institutions that claim

to fix

with refined expertise

the illnesses

of those who learn from homes, hearts, hearths

(the only sturdy grounds we can ever claim).

 

To save our spirits from

disintegrating:

resilient enough to withstand

institutionally-blessed scrutinies

of our souls?

 

To teach us truths of deaths

brought on about by one’s own blood?

 

Passages that remake

even when

they cannot count on

our being there

in the final hours?

 

Tell me,

my friend —

is this a

responsible language

for this journey?

 

“Perhaps the most insidious and least understood form of segregation”

says Claudia Rankine,

“is that of the word.”

Her words sink in,

I ask-

 

is it merely the word?

is it also the tongue?

 

maybe it’s the heart?

 

Molded by stories

inherited  repeated

banished  buried

constituted of 

apologies to ancestors.

 

Of

scrutinies and betrayals

to be fought

across worlds               with heart-breaking

                                                        honesty

to keep alive the

integrity of Souls —

              our own

                            our ancestors’ and

                                          our offsprings.’

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