I am India
a strange, absurd anomaly
a juxtaposition of contradictions
a single entity containing multitudes
a nation of all religions
a nation without a religion
and a nation beyond all religions
A nation of all languages
and of shared silences between their words
and of that sea of understanding, they all stream toward.
A nation of pasts ancient
times present and potentials future
I am both young and old
a nation too rootless in all times
The whole world in miniature I am
The mountains of Himalayas
Rivers worshipped by millions
Seas, deserts, and oceans
I am non-violence of Gandhi
and self-defense of Bhagat
I am Ashoka and Akbar
Aryabhata and Kalam
Namaste and salam
Confucious, Jesus, and Mohamad
Buddha and Mahavir
And ten Sikh gurus I am
And a thousand Meras and Kabirs.
I am Kalidas and Gulzar
Sachin and Usha
Sarasvati and Shiva
And several million gods
Of Africa, Greece, and Rome
The forgotten dead gods of Maya
And the gods that dance and smile
And the others that must now retire 
To the dark abyss
Of the forgotten collective unconscious
Having overstayed their welcome.
I am a land of culture
But a culture that accepts change
Admits to having follies and faults
For I know I am still growing
And I am challenging myself
To become even better
I starve with my poor
And cry with those of world
But I still crave for skies
For the stars beautiful 
And space between them
I contradict myself and that way
Try to be beyond all hypocrisy
For constancy and consistency
Are the luxuries of unimaginative,
Hypocrites or dead
I am a nation like all other nations
And all other nations are like me
We all yearn for land without fear
Tagore's dream we all grope for
In the darkness of this world of bigotry,
Violence, miseries, and misunderstandings.
But I make efforts to go beyond myself
I take the whole universe in
And am consumed by it
Pakistan, Bangladesh, Japan
And Nepal too I am.
As well as Asia, Africa, and Antarctica
Europe and two Americas
For I am nothing and everything
That stuff stars are made of
As well as the death and the dust.
And I am also Einstein and Newton
Rilke, Pablo, and Pessoa
Coetzee, Soyinka, and Chinua
Luther, Che, and Mandela
Lispector, Marquez, and Akhmatova
Nothing beautiful is foreign to me
Nothing beautiful is excluded by me
I am Socrates, Rumi, and Nash
Dostoevsky, Goethe, and Dante
Eliot, Woolf, Lispector, and Brontes
For Much like I did with Kautilya
I will learn from them
Understand them and 
By understanding 
Become one with them
For no one can own the sun
What is beautiful is shared
And exists beyond
The tyranny of all borders
No one owns it
Not even the one who creates it
This is my greatest wisdom
I, India, belong to the world
And to every single nation inside it
And the whole world belongs to me
And one day we will all admit it
And this way we will grow
And be bigger than the universe
And so will all nations
Grow and contain each other
To form a land without nations
A land
Where the mind will dwell without fear

Copyright – Sidharth Vardhan

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