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ghosts of things

Photo Essay by Rhea Gupte

Grew up on stories
Of steamboats and saris
Which travelled from
India to Aden and back.

Suitcases packed,
Passports stamped,
A mother, a father, a child
Migrating to a new land.

One worked at the post office
The second in a bank
The third learnt Arabic
In Fatima’s lap.

Flipping through lives
In white and black
Albums became musical boxes
Singing songs of my pack.

Things become ghosts
Inhabiting memories, grazing hands
Teleporting tales they’ve been
To the shores of present lands.

Real or make believe?
These stories painted in peace.
Like any other colonised country
Life remained on an unfair lease.

The last time across the seas
Three beating hearts would journey,
Leaving behind a life
To fit the required weight category.

Seashores are lines,
Between hope and regret
Where one may live and breed,
Another perishes in death.

Losing home is a loss
No matter a space, a person, a town
No matter if it birthed you,
No matter if it turned you down.

ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things
ghosts of things