Who may walk the halls of Hindustan?
Who may nurture the Idea of India?
Is it a place solely reserved for Hindus,
Or does it continue to welcome
The huddled masses of the sub-continent?
Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Parsi, Muslim alike,
Brothers in blood, cousins in culture.
Will it welcome me as a curious Westerner,
Looking up her mother’s skirt?
At one point, we all fell from her lap
In death, migration, diaspora and partitioning.
Previous lifetimes of soul experience
Bubbling up to swell the blessed Ganga.
India, my bride, my forever lover:
May I set our muhurta?
May I meet you under the mandap?
May I kindle the ceremonial fire and circle you?
May I festoon you in flower garland?
May I join our garments in knots?
May I apply a bright sindoor?
May I be allowed to honor you in
The ethos of an integrated state, or
Will we burn in the eternal flames
Of our primal divisions?
Can we finally join in cord, spirit and country?
With our worldwide brethren and bandhu,
Seeking completion in the bride of Bharat.
Devoted to light as against darkness,
Happily, ever after in the valley Indus.