A celebration of oneness
It is truly St.Patrick’s day out, and the town is painted not red, but green.. a deep, parrot green. Green, the colour of life. It is the Amblingindian’s day out too.
I wander around, as if at home, even though I am so far away from home in India. Been here for a week now. It feels like eternity, even though it was just two weeks ago- leaving Bangalore on an early morning BA flight, landing into London, enjoying the spring, then crossing the Atlantic, reaching Chicago. The city, when i came in, all dressed in the purest of white snowflakes, slowly melting into what feels like a warm embrace. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder.. The river and every other place in Chicago, celebrating the Irish festival, all dressed up in green, orange and white today, makes me think of home, of India- of the bright tricolours we share. It feels like a salute to the resurgence of life, with green emerging everywhere, out of the dark days of winter. Every shade of green- jade, emerald and bottle, reminds me of Bangalore, the green city readying to be painted in a multitude of colours,with Holi coming closer by the day. Even though I will miss Holi in India this time, with the green celebrations here, it all seems like one big celebration of oneness.
For me, it is much more than that. Everything has just come together today. I meet my sister here after many months, both of us crying with joy at seeing each other, in this distant land. We travelled so far, she from Florida, me from India, and finally came so close.
We wander around, going down the precious memory lanes of childhood, even as we drink in the sights by the green river -the green shamrocks, white & orange tricolour scarves and the parades strutting around. The crowd singing ” This land is my land– this land is your land …”. People jostling, boats kayaking on the green river, the music playing, the crowd cheering,the sun beaming.. a fitting tribute to the Irish clan who made this beautiful place their home not so long ago.
And every now and then an outrageous “ I’m Irish .. kiss me” springs out followed by “I am not Irish- do kiss me”. Jolly good fellows, posing for photographs, hugging me, making me feel so at home, some even labelling me Irish- as one of them, with their easygoing banter and cheer. And always, bringing India back to me, in my thoughts, my dreams even. India, the beautiful and colorful country, you belong here- if only I could transport you to Chicago. Right here, right now.. with a flourish of a magic brush perhaps, blending the greens with the multicolours, St.Patrick’s day with Holi, the Irish flag with the Indian and the American..creating a feast for the eyes and soul alike..