the hills

an upside down ‘w’ was all I knew
as a little kid drawing dreams on plain whites
I belong to the hills
I said every time I was asked about my origin
my body was born in the plains
but my heart emerged from the mountains

I remember my infantile journey to the hills through photographs
speeding through the meandering mountain roads in my mum’s lap
getting washed in the cold fern- adorned springs
and seeing my paternal grandma after a long nap
saw her playing with me under the bright sunny sky
then I grew up and never got to see her smile

last summer I saw my ancestral house in all its beauty
up on a hill, hidden in the trees
wrinkled white walls with blue window sills
the slate tiled roof overlooking fields of green and blue hills
and silently pouring out smoke at night from its belly
years of toiling, this is where my father came to be

there’s something about Kumaon
I’ve only seldom explored its secrets
but each time its breeze graces my face
it feels as if I’ve spent my lifetime here
happily breaking my body growing up
learning the way of life and becoming wiser

skies look different from here, prettier
stars seem closer and brighter
winds are gentle yet they awaken the soul
rivers run wild like ancient scrolls
humans are humble and animals free
as I grow older I hope the hills remain forevermore the harbinger of peace

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