Touching their Feet

Finally, after all of this time I have been fortunate enough to meet my family (me, second from left). After riding in auto, taking a rickshaw, and walking, I stepped afoot into my family’s modest home couched among the alleys of Old Delhi. The layout of the home was an intimate portrayal of an India past–family oriented, absence of privacy, simple. The divisive walls and small quarters of a burgeoning urbanization were non-existent. The outpouring of love and support awash in the home was contagious as I embraced, for the first time, my Indian grandmother’s brother and sisters. I respectfully touched their feet. While the language barrier in part prohibited verbal communication, our sense of emotional communication and connection was ever more heightened. Seeing my grandmother’s sisters and brother interact was both rejuvenating and reassuring knowing that living in the U.S had not modified my grandmother’s cultural modalities. After talking for some time, all of us enjoyed a warm meal cooked by the daughters-in-law. The daughters-in-law continued to serve khana food to their elders until they were well fed. The respect towards elders was resounding. Certainly, it was interesting to see that the effects of westernization (i.e. independence not dependence) had not completely sullied their home. As I continued to inspect the home I noticed that the home had three floors giving way to an environment conducive for large families. I even observed that the white garbs donned by the elders were symbolic of a state of purity in life. After a hearty meal, I turned to embrace my family for what may be a final time. I respectfully touched their feet for a final blessing before I left.




Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams. 
-W.B. Yeats

Conflict through Coexistence


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