Your mother hears things about you,
But your ears are tuned to a different frequency.
She translates for you:
“You don’t dress up,
You don’t speak,
You don’t participate,
You don’t have friends,
You don’t reciprocate.”
Are you anti-social or is it this place?
Started alright, you liked them;
But you were six, they tugged and pulled
At your cheek until the red became
Your very own complexion because
They were all obligated to.
You moved away, grew up a little,
Wasn’t rebellious but that made you
More conscious and more picky;
You knew there was something,
A chasm between you and your people.
The more you returned,
The more you realized
Their small horizons
Pushing you out
To the vast world in your hands
So ripe for the taking
And you held on till you bled.
Twenty one years later
You sit awkwardly, silent for the most part.
Your thoughts vanish as they scream,
“Too much for too little,”
And you strain your eyes and ears
In search of something more than
Lipstick, dresses and boys.
A wall of mirrors in exchange for horizons.
A superiority developed out of inferiority.
So you shut your mouth
And let them vent their deficits.
This grape vine never seems to disappoint.
I’ve never felt close to my tribal community and it has everything to do with the way I grew up. I wonder sometimes if I’d stayed back, if I hadn’t traveled and seen and experienced the things that I have if I’d be different.
I don’t mean to point fingers but the point I want to make in this post-rant rant is that I heard something very nasty said to my mother today about how her children don’t contribute to the community. But as much as your blood and my blood are the same, you and I have a very different understanding of community. As human beings, we want so much to be part of a community, to have those people to fall back on and vent and share interests with but my tribe is not my community. Our ideologies are so disparate, the only topic of conversation I could pull off with someone sitting next to me is probably about what I ate or which guys I like.
Living in a city like Delhi, tribal communities matter very much. For most of these people, it’s a matter of solidarity, survival and something to ease the pain of being alone. I’ve seen first-hand how empowering these communities can be and to that I say. “You go girl!” For me, however, it’s about my parents. It’s important to them so I stick around. My social needs are very much taken care of by my lovely family and friends I’ve picked up all around the world and the interweb. It made me LOL when I heard that someone actually thought I had to give back something which I’ve never taken in the first place.
There is a very fucked up thing that’s going on here too; assuming I don’t have friends because they’re not from the tribe or that the friends I have outside the tribe are not REAL friends. Hah.