These paper boats of mine are meant to dance on the ripples of hours, and not reach any destination... Rabindranath Tagore

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past...F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby

We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom. We lived in the gaps between the stories.
On the way to the river are the old dormitories, used for something else now, with their fairy-tale turrets, painted white and gold and blue. When we think of the past it's the beautiful things we pick out. We want to believe it was all like that.
--from Margaret Atwood - The Handmaid's Tale

Reading is the sole means by which we slip, involuntarily, often helplessly, into another's skin, another's voice, another's soul.
- Joyce Carol Oates

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Promised Land

The Promised Land - Sushma Joshi - in ITCH - Journal of Creative Expression - Issue 6 - 29th June 2010.
December 16, 2013 I was moved to see all the Mandela memorial events this week. And it reminded me that I'd had a story published in ITCH, a South African journal, in 2010. So, in his memory and with South Africa on my mind ...

beyond today

Umesh Acharya, only son of an illustrious family of judges and diplomats, inheritor of lavish acres of land in Banepa, and owner of two centrally located Kathmandu apartment buildings, decided to leave for America a week after his marriage...

beyond the valley of home

But Umesh, who had watched all his friends leave Kathmandu one by one...

could the light be brighter

if he attended community college for a year and improved his grades, he could transfer to a better college...

could I learn more

Umesh reached Ohio in the middle of September.

but the leaves are turning

Welcome to America," he said, taking out Umesh's Samsonite suitcases and dragging them into the narrow, carpeted hallway. It smelled of old cats.

the warmth is dying

"Its expensive to live alone, so all eight of us in the college share the rooms," Abhisekh explained

we cannot be what we were

All of us work these kinds of jobs. Remember Kundan-Sir?" "Our physics teacher?" "That's right. He is stacking boxes at a supermarket right now in New York. Remember Suresh? He was a batch behind us?" "What about him?" "He pumps gas at a station in Idaho." "I don't believe it," was all Umesh could say. "Remember Ranay?" Abhisekh continued pitilessly. "Ranay who wanted to be a doctor?" "Ranay works at an Indian restaurant now, waiting tables. He dropped out of college and is illegal."

we cannot become
more than we were

Was this the America that all his other friends had gone to, or had he arrived at a special nightmare version?

we have lost 

'Have I come thousand of miles and paid ten times more for an education that was worse than a public college in Kathmandu?' he thought. 

I have lost

"The Promised Land," said somber ochre letters outside the funeral parlor where Purna dropped him off.

I can only

the ashes

Shelling Peas and History Lessons - Mascara Literary review

I intercepted her words with side-track poetry
which becomes my review

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