A Long Way Away

If all was possible and I had not to worry

About inane bills and saving prudently

If all was provided without question or delay

From invisible gods for one day…

I would buy a jumbo jet in purple and pink

With plush interiors and a competent crew

I would tell them to fly me on the double

To an ancient land that doesn’t grow old

A peninsula of pleasure and pain in equal measure

Chaotic but calming; Loud but pensive

Hours ten the flight would take

From the hangar I would make

The drive, an hour long, to my square of earth

In a comfortable vehicle with artificial cooling

Yet I’d open the window to hear Her voice

Breathe Her air; feel Her touch

The grating sound; the brown smoke

The inescapable stench of humanity

Are a bittersweet reality of Her

If I had everything I would share it

With the humanity of Her

In the next thirteen hours I would, for free…

Feel the comfort of my mother’s lap

The rough hands of experience

On my head protecting always.

Hear my father’s laugh,

My brother’s tease

Watch that show with no sense

In a tongue that I slowly forget

On a device that has no bass but

Is turned up so loud that the streets know

When the family is together.

Eat food salted with tears of memories

In the middle of the night,

Hear the clouds rumble

Open the window ‘cause it’d be too humid to breathe

Wake up to bells clanging from the house altar

While the Sanskrit hymns carry on incessantly.

Have everything always smell of jasmine,

Camphor, chillies, coconut and mother.

That would be luxury.

Even the dream costs me.

So, who now funds my ticket back to reality? (..)


18 thoughts on “A Long Way Away”

  1. Lovely poem! 🙂
    This reminds me of how my friends and I used to dream of luxury buses, fitted with every convenience we could think of, while clinging to the seat corners in our school bus (lovingly nicknamed the Tin Can of Hell).


  2. Question being do you really want to return to reality. I was thinking on the same lines, returning to a London that I knew many years ago, but unfortunately no longer exists. Seeing a family that are no longer, time passes. My father is now 99 years old and still lives in London, but I remember the past days when we were all younger. I love the picture you painted of India.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, sometimes I don’t know. I have come to really like it here but it’ll never really be home will it? After 48 years of being here if you are also dreaming of going back to London, knowing it is not the same, then I guess this situation will never change for me. 🙂 But that’s also ok. Thank you for the comment. Much appreciated. 🙂


      1. I am dreaming of returning to the London I knew, not the London of today. I love my life in Switzerland. I speak fluent Swiss German, my family speak Swiss German with me and I am just at home here. I sometimes feel like a foreigner when I visit my dad in London.

        Liked by 1 person

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