In India: Take Two

I’d forgotten that most people don’t know as  much about Sri Lanka as one always expects, in India
People raise their eyebrows, intrigued, suspicious; ‘Why do you know so much about India? Indian politics?’
They don’t know the first thing about Sri Lanka
‘There was a war? Really?’
‘Do you have your own language? Does it have a script?’
Lost in the cloud of their own vastness
Deceived by their own game  of monopoly.

How can you be so close and yet so far?
The streets are more intense, the food just slightly lighter on my tongue, the coffee distinctly more delicious
The air dry, the ‘winter’ creeping up on us (‘Where is the sun?’ I begin to wonder)
Home, not home
Familiar, and strange.

In  India, you can say, if you’re feeling a little lazy, ‘Actually, Sri Lanka is very similar in a  lot of ways’
But you know inside, it’s not true.
It’s just not true.

 

(‘In India’, September 2012 was published here)

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