Parenting the parents

Jolly Bhattacharjee is originally from India, and migrated to Canberra in 2014.  She has been published in Woroni and loves writing poems that connect her to her homeland and to this beautiful Aussie land.

Between smiles and twinkles
There is a kind of fear
Fear of a new land, new people, new ways
The drape of your saree, your bindi and Kumkum seem all wrong
The “angrezi” are so odd
You say –
Saree badal ke salwar pehen loon” (Should I wear a salwar instead of saree?)
Doston ke samne chup hi rahungi warna naak kat jayegi” (I should not speak in front of your friends)
Angrezi mujhe aati nahi, hindi hi bol loon” (Can I speak Hindi as I can’t speak the language?)
You are uncertain ordering coffee at a café I am here to rescue you
Maa, don’t be afraid of letting us down
It’s just a new land
People are the same everywhere
Bachpan se sunte aayi hoon (All my childhood I heard)
Tum Maa ho – saara samay apne baachon ko diya karo (Give all your time to your children)
Tum Maa ho – kabhi apne liye mat jiya karo (Don’t live for yourself)
Tum Maa ho – khana banao aur ghar pe hi raha karo (Cook food and stay home)
Aur yeh ab nahi. Maa (But not anymore)
Tum bhi Khul kar jiya karo
Baacho ki parwah na karke , khub galtiyan kiya karo
Sikhne ki umar nahi hoti – kuch bhi chaaye koshish kiya karo
Maa, now it is time to live your life
Don’t worry about shaming us
There is no age for learning new things,
Just spread the beauty
that lies within…

© Jolly Bhattacharjee, 2019