Munish Sharma | Pile of Bones
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Pile of Bones

Pile of Bones

The city once named Pile of Bones is where I was born. It is where I once called home. Canada is the nation where my parents built a life.

So we came to understand that this plush and angelic land was nurtured by the hands of many indigenous clans.

The first peoples of this land have the last in its claim. We are cousins just the same for we’ve shared a common name.

Indian.  

A name christened by a mistake but it’s a compliment I am happy to take. Once stoic honorable people made slaves from schools to needles by ignorant European peoples who colonized and devised the plan to once “rule” all the land.

The first nations are returning to their glory. They are an important part of this country’s story. Canada is where I call home but mixed with profanity I’ve still heard, “Go back to your country.”

India.

That’s what some people don’t shy away to tell me. The motherland of my ancestors though it is, I will never be fully welcome in it.

NRI. Non-Resident Indian.

Because I don’t reside in the state where my grandparents carved a place. They don’t hesitate to charge me the NRI price at all the historical sites.

My Canadian accent causes them strife. My parents once thought it’s where I would meet my wife.

This Bharata gave birth to Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs but no common place do they choose to meet. They won’t decline the time to quickly draw a line on Mother India’s face because politics tell us borders make us safe.

Conquered and ruled by Christians and Islam yet Mother India gave all that she can. She nurtured both her surrogate and biological babes, and like all mothers she forgave. For in another age she belonged in a different place.

Smashed into a foreign country millions of years ago. Maybe she sheds tears for her distant home.

Pangea.

Once she was nestled in Antarctica and Australia. She left and gave us the Himalaya.

We all want to belong.

That need to survive we inherited from our ancient African tribes. For without them none of us would be alive.

So I make the case: What side of the line can I call mine? My skin colour is a product of evolution. If I called religion an illusion some would think I live in delusion. Where is my place? Aren’t we just particles dancing all over space?

If I dig, I’ll discover, unearthed in this rubble, is a pile of bones. And it is where I was born. This pile of bones is our home.