I wrote this while I was in University. At that time I found myself quite frustrated when trying to explain my childhood to people. Now, more than ten years later I still can’t say I find it any easier…
“SO, what’s it like over there?”
I take a deep breath.
I have heard this question a thousand times, yet still
It catches me off-guard.
Where do I begin to describe what ‘it’ is like?
My thoughts swirl…
It is captivating.
Yet incomprehensibly complex.
And refined culture.
The stars burn bright in an endless sky.
Centuries of ancient history are so near they can be touched.
It is a caravan melting into the Himalayas,
Proud nomads on a mountain pass.
A lonely village on an endless steppe,
A bustling and heaving bazaar.
It is the smell of lamb kebabs roasting over charcoal,
And freshly baked naan hot from a tandoor.
The exotic aromas of cardamom and saffron and ripe mangoes,
Slabs of raw meat hanging from hooks, covered in flies.
It is a beautiful face with large brown eyes,
Black hair covered by a sky-blue veil.
She disappears into a mud-walled courtyard.
It is a lazy donkey under a mulberry tree,
And the fierce frenzy of whip wielding horse riders.
It is the majesty of craggy, snow-covered peaks,
And thunderous monsoon downpours.
It is a sly, greedy snake charmer,
A picnic on the banks of a mighty river.
It is a childhood of memories,
And a part of who I am.
“So, what’s it like over there?”