Prem Ke Bare Me
For my final academic project, I wrote three poems about the love I observe in my host family; how they give and recieve love, how they show love, and how beautiful it can be.
Here’s some context:
I live in a house of 10. There is my host mother, host father, and a five year old host brother. His name is Shivan. Then there is Geeta-ji, the domestic worker, and her three sons. My host mom treats Geeta-ji as her little sister. There is also Sneha, my adopted host sister. Her family lives nearby but she stays here often to help Mintu-ji and raising Shivan. There’s also Mintu ji’s uncle, two drivers, and a guest doctor.
When I first arrived to my host family, my host mother told me that my host sister needed help applying to a job. For the next two weeks, we sat together almost every night. We wrote a speech. She passed her first interview in Delhi. The second is company training in London. Passing this second round would guarantee her the job. Before London can happen, she needs to pay out of her pocket for the international flight, VISA, and medical examinations.
It was 11 PM, only a week left before I was to leave. I was sitting with my host sister in the living room. Time was slow. She was telling me about the problems in her life and her dreams. It’s not easy for her. She told me she’s 28, single, and a woman. She worked at Lion’s Den, a gym in Jaipur for six years. It got to the point where a new employee made the same salary as she did. There was no upwards mobility in this job. And she barely made ends meet with the salary they were giving her. She quit. She told me she wants to work hard so her mother can rest. Her mom is still running a milk business, collecting milk from cows they own and delivering them to houses nearby.
Her siblings gave her 1.5 lakhs toward funding her aspirations toward this new job. They told her, don’t worry about being professional. Just follow your passion. The belief we can have in others is beautiful. Her name, Sneha.
This conversation with my host sister gave me a deeper lens into the love in this household; from the love and appreciation given to Geeta-ji for cooking for everyone everyday to the patience we have with Shivan even though he can be naughty and mischievious. These poems are about them, for them.
Look. Look at the love in this house.
How it is warm like chapati,
Made from hands full of care
Pain rides on her back
Look. Look at how long love lasts.
A hundred plants.
Her uncle living in the house.
Because her parents always did.
Because he will be a good boy someday.
Because he’s watching everything.
Look. Look at the power of belief.
Her dreams big.
All she needed to pay for the flights and paperwork.
A job abroad so she can help her mom and family.
Her brother and sister said to her
“Don’t worry about being professional at the interview”
“Just follow your passion”
Belief in it’s raw form. Love stated as action.