Incredible India

 

A poem on India by the 4th IOCES Conference Keynote Speaker

Distinguished Professor (Dr.) Carlos A. Torres*

Imagining India

Drawings of lights and shadows

   clinging to life in every corner.

Land of contrasts and contradictions.

 

Carnucopia of bright shining colors

                   smells and flavors,

          exciting senses beyond understanding and tantric pleasure

          sounds reimagining an ancestral India

          embraced by multiple layers of modernity yet to be accomplished.

                             They will forever live in me.

 

India is to be celebrated and loved.

You know this better than me.

          And yet India is a demanding lover

                   making us seeking ecstasies in her beauty and seductiveness

                   not knowing how to give pleasure to her impenetrable wonders.

 

Freedom lives next to slavery,

   abundance next to abject poverty

        globalities penetrate localities

                   and life goes on in the streets

as if nothing has ever happened.

 

Was freedom won in the struggle?

    Shedding the skin of the colonized

        letting India find her own voice.

amid multiple voices,

                   languages,

                             cultures

                                      identities

                                                traditions

                                                          religions

                                                                legacies of all sorts

all simmering

          in  a life of never ending

                                                metaphors.

 

Inside India

          the iron cage imprints its daily life,

          a daily batik of corrupted modernity and yet

          there is its rich and subtle past living in tombs,

                   temples,

                             traditions,

                                      superstitions

                                                oral mythical legends

                                                          scholarly wisdom

                                                                  holy men walking naked

                                                                                          in the streets.

 

Spiritual pathways left footprints everywhere.

          They cannot be fully followed

                                            only imagined.

 

India, still seeking her global self

                   can ill afford to deny her millenary past

                                      while embracing her future of multitudes.

 

Science,

          technology,

                   knowledge

                        are only one answer among the many wisdoms

                                         still to be acquired.

 

Education is only one,

                   and yet single powerful voice of liberation

                             that needs to be heard.

 

Today struggling

                   with sense and sensibilities beyond orderly reason,

       we celebrate lifting veils of

                     mysterious and sacred love

                            joining many more that preceded us

          in the quest for knowledge and understanding,

            in the quest for freedom and thrust

              in the quest for equity, dignity and celebration of life

                  in the quest of identities and learning plenum.

 

I wonder if India

          is not only mighty powerful

                    but loving desire for a freedom future still to be conquered.

                   Perhaps India is in all of us. 

* Written while traveling in Delhi, Jaipur, Udaipur, Khajuraho, Varanasi, and Calcutta, India, December, 2013