I Am Different

Your presence is foreign, as strange to me as a thing.
I think, I explore great tracts of my life before you.
My life before anyone, my harsh life.
I Am Different

The vast landscape out west
The tall mountains of Colorado
That take you down the mind alleys
All the way back to Nepal

The blaring traffic in Manhattan
The honks, the shouts
The bustle on a tired afternoon
In Jackson Heights
That remind of
Asan in Kathmandu
Janak Chowk in Janakpur

The mud roads of my childhood
Of kids hitting the pond water
With their tiny feet

The bus to Janakpur
Crowded with people
All the way to the roof top
It is no small wonder
The bus does not just veer off
By the roadside

The incessant monsoon rains
That come unfailingly each year
No drizzle
But floods and gushes
Washing away houses and paddy fields

I have walked to the snow line
Up in the Himalayas
It got blue cold
But my first snowy winter
Was in Kentucky
My homevillage, hometown
Flat as the floor
Less than a hundred feet above sea level
Less than a hundred miles from Everest
That I have never seen

India was never a foreign country
To me
My home was only a few miles from the border
Half the extended family was on the other side
But for the strong anti-India sentiment
In Nepal, in Pakistan, in Sri Lanka, in Bangladesh
I had to come all the way to America
To claim my Indian half

Delhi, Patna
Much of north India in between
I saw
I missed out on
Alaska, Hawaii

What does it mean to you
That I have been different places
I grew up some place very different
I was 23 when I landed in Seattle
The cab ride from the airport in Kentucky
Cost me a small fortune of 70 bucks

I had 200 dollars with me

I Dedicate This City To You
Love Is The Reason
Yellow Rose
Yellow Rose To Reclaim
Yellow Roses To Keep
Yellow Roses

How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.