Hello, is it June already?! Wowza, almost half the year disappeared in a puff of smoke!... This month the prompt at Write...Edit...Publish... is Please Read the Letter by Robert Plant and Alicia Krauss – and I'm really excited to see what everyone does with it, because in the previous two challenges, writers totally ROCKED the prompts!
Here’s my interpretation…
Don't Return to Sender!
Please don’t return this too, unopened like all the others. Or worse, tear it up without reading. It’s been just eight years but it feels like I have been sending you these letters forever, reaching far back into some earlier births aeons ago. I keep thinking what can I do to make you understand? - to make you see things differently, to get us back, if not on the same track, at least on tracks close enough for you to appreciate where I am coming from. And where you are heading. How can I make you understand?!
Together, we are more beautiful, more resilient - more armoured in our love for each other - than anything else in the universe. And apart, we are just broken human beings, isolated in pain, unable to handle problems, unable to handle life. The weakest, the worst versions of ourselves. The past few weeks are proof of that. Please read this letter. I’m nailing it to your door and to every door around you. You cannot send it back this time!
Why must you so isolate yourself and make your home in a parallel world that no-one can reach? Many people would argue it’s not a real world at all, but a figment spiked with fear, greed and hatred. Step out of it once and see how easy it is when we do it together, how pleasant and right it feels when we work towards it hand in hand without conflict and without drama. Without the lies. Because that’s the world you’re in, the one you’ve created – imaginary, unreal. Another word for that is false.
At first I thought we were having teething problems, all relationships do - they will work themselves out. But no, that hasn’t happened. One lie was followed by another and another, one abusive action followed by more and more. A world built upon falsehoods can never prosper. It will sooner or later come down like a house of cards. Surely you know that? You will argue that none of those words are yours, the abuse isn’t yours. But that is exactly it! - you are quiet while your family run amok, your silence enables them, encourages them to greater heights of cruelty and hatefulness. Why do you remain silent when the crisis is so dire? Why do you just stand there and watch homes being wrecked and not say a word? Do you really care so little?
The past is history. Neither you nor I can change it. Who screwed whom, what was broken, what was built, what was converted and diverted with what intention – that’s a never ending loop of futility, because we can never know for sure. Human beings change over a lifetime. And their intentions and actions are often in conflict. Also how do you know what the intention was behind a particular action anyway, whether it was a thousand years ago or at this very moment? Was Shah Jahan the most romantic husband ever to build the Taj Mahal for his queen, so he and Mumtaz could be together for eternity? Or was he a sex-obsessed maniac who drove his beloved wife to an early death by forcing her to go through 14 pregnancies in a time when childbearing carried the very real risk of death?
If it is the thought that counts, then we can’t ever know the thoughts that created history. Sometimes we can’t even know the actions, because not everything is recorded. History is not exactly watertight, it's just a bunch of interpretations about this or that written phrase. And the historians are in a better position to analyse it, let’s leave it to them.
It is pointless to brood on the past, it ties up the brain in knots and keeps us busy holding grudges instead of actively finding tools to build our lives with. It only creates ill-feeling where none need exist, it doesn’t help. Far more productive to focus on what we can change and get on with that. And what we can change is the future. Not the past. Please let it go, I’m urging you.
This whole debate about who belongs and who doesn’t is completely specious. The entire world, every nation, except for maybe Ethiopia, has been built by migrations. Out of Africa, out of Central Asia, and equally outward from here to further east and to the west. How far back do we go?
Several Mughal emperors had Rajput mothers and married Rajput women. Their bones and that of their family members, generation upon generation, are interred in the soil here, their sons’ blood spilled on this very ground. Home is not just where the heart is! It’s where the bones of the ancestors are, it’s the land that they have tilled or taxed, the orchards they have grown and gathered from, the waters they have sailed and fished in.
A foreign individual residing here for 12 years is eligible for citizenship. Just twelve years. And here we’re talking of centuries. Sapta purush jethae manush se mati Ma-yer baRa Tagore wrote – where seven generations have been raised that land is greater than the Mother. And Rahat Indori said in more recent times - sabhi ka khoon hai shamil yahaN ki mitti mein…everybody’s blood is an integral part of the soil here… How would you disentangle the soil, segregate and demarcate which grains belong to whom?
So come, set aside those grudges, the uncontrolled rage, the manufactured outrage and mindless criminality. It’s never too late. Let’s get back together. There is nothing to fear. All we need to do is pull together, use and share resources sensibly. Respect each other’s boundaries. Value and celebrate diversity. It makes us stronger, not weaker. Come, live a life of freedom. Free from fretting and fear. From anger and greed. A life of love, of inclusion, of justice. A stress-free, happier life.
An ordinary citizen.
~ ~ ~
Tagline : An open letter that could be nailed to too many doors in the corridors of power right now.
WC - 992
Please read the other entries here and join in with your own -