American Born Confused Desi

May 7, 2018
By Anya-Chabria BRONZE, Albertson, New York
Anya-Chabria BRONZE, Albertson, New York
2 articles 0 photos 0 comments

You are a child.
You are sick and tired of
The roti and naan,
The paneer,
The shak,
The daal,
Oh, how you detest the daal.
How you wish to escape.

The music
And the dancing
Deliver mockery.
The beliefs
And the practices
Deliver humiliation.

You are tired
Of the wind,
Breezes laden with ignorance
And cluelessness,
That bats at your branches.
You are tired
Of the consequences
Of your stump
And your roots.
Wouldn't it be easier
To just cut them off?

Little did you know
Cutting off the roots
And the stump
Is what makes the tree fall.

You are surrounded by
Hot Dogs,
You listen to "normal" music
And reject
Your beliefs
And your practices.

But still, unease.
You pine for
The roti and naan.
The paneer,
The sac,
The daal
(Despite your hatred, you miss it so).

You miss
The music,
The dancing,
The beliefs,
The practices,

You regrow the old roots,
And return to your old stump.
You try to slice off the new branches,
Only to realize
They are not branches after all

They are new roots,
Sprouting from the new buddings
Of a new stump
For a new tree.
You do what you must.
You fuse the trees together.

A balancing act ensues.
You are the gardener,
Holding roots,
-Roots who think there are still two individual trees
and that only one can survive-
At bay.
You teach them to coexist.

The roots do not listen.
Scratch that.
MOST of the time,
They play deaf.
But this is the price
You pay
For being the child
Of two cultures.

The author's comments:

This poem is meant to reflect the experience of an American descendant of Indian immigrants, better known as an American Born Confused Desi, or ABCD.  Being an ABCD myself, I was able to provide a firsthand account of the struggles that ABCDs face as children.

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