May-Jun 2011: Poem 'Split selves' by Shruti Sareen

I was born whole, yes,
but the Fates that decreed me a Gemini
split me into twin selves,
the quiet serious one and
the wicked rebel.
Freud further split me into three
the yearning in me, the stoical
reason in me, the balancing act
of yearning and reason in me.
I inherited my mother’s hair
my father’s eyes, my mother’s mouth
and nobody’s nose. I mean, nobody knows,
if anybody’s height and whobody’s brain?
But my grandma’s memory, that’s for sure.
This body of mine that now lives in Delhi
is part Gujju - part Tamil - half Punjabi and
used to live in Benares. But even that
is history. Places proliferate
and multiply.
Yes, I believe in post-modernism,
yes, I believe in pluralities, and liminalities
of Identities.
But sometimes, I yearn
to carve myself an imaginary
unified identity.

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