Thursday, June 30, 2016

On the Train to Ludiana

My mind absorbs the images of people, animals, and geography as it passes by my window. With only a few seconds to understand what I am seeing, I imagine the rest. Men standing on the tracks discussing cricket, football and politics. Women walking home in bright colored sarees wondering what they will cook for dinner. A stork stands tall gazing into water immersed fields looking out over his kingdom.
Rows of plants drinking the fertile Indian water that unlike me will not make them sick. Trains pass each other in opposite directions making a worsshh sound. The air between them is crushed by the speed of the passing and has nowhere to go. We travel on to where a road intersects the train tracks. Here, lines of people wait in bikes, cars, auto rickshaws and on their feet. They wonder if the train will come to an end soon. A child counts the cars. A woman carries a jug on her head thinking how her children will go to school. A man rides a bike loaded down with goods. He wonders when he can buy his uncles motor bike.
Then there are the roads. The endless roads that have borne the weight of Indian humanity, provided direction and given free passage to its travelers. They take men and women, soldiers and sailors, saints and sinners home to those they are bound together with their hearts. A family rides on a motor scooter on their way to buy groceries and enjoy a meal from a street vendor. I pass a garbage dump filled with Indian waste. Beside it grows a lush green field of corn and I wonder.

As the day becomes night I can see very little so I think about her. Her savory spices. Her pungent smells. Her reflective eyes. Her diverse beauty. Her abundant children. Her suffocating heat. Her delightful fruit. Her welcomed monsoons. Her distinctive music. Her stomach turning filth. Her copious gods. Her heart wrenching disasters. Her constant poverty. Her massive wealth.  She is a mystery… a contrast. At times I am disgusted and made sick. At other times, I am in awe of her. She teases and intrigues me.  She is home to a sixth of earth's humanity… so many souls, so many languages, such richness and depth of culture. When she sees me she wonders who I am and why would I come to her? She grabs my heart and asks “what kind of lover are you?” 

I have questions for her. Does she know who she is? Does she know she is great, brilliant, beautiful and strong? Does she know she is rich in her poverty, ancient in her youth, fertile in her filth? Does her greed feed the endless, unsatisfying, sucking black hole in the heart? Has she thought about the depth of her iniquity and what it cost her only true lover?  Does she know she is wanted, needed and loved? Do those who love her know her? Would they willingly suffer for her? Would they sacrifice their best for her? Would they die for her? I know someone who would, who does, who has. He asks her to come to Him… but will she go?

No comments:

Post a Comment