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I am Ghati

Priyamwada Redican Chakne | Updated on January 24, 2020 Published on January 24, 2020

A challenge: "You call me Ghati, but do you know the Ghats?" (Credit: ISTOCK.COM)   -  Getty Images/iStockphoto

Have you ever stood facing a mountain

when the sun is about to rise from behind its dawn-lit silhouette?

Have you noticed how, as the stars start to fade from the black,

trees and bushes appear on the landscape?

First they’re just blotches of green, of brown, of yellow,

and then you see the finer details:

the cracks in the rocks, the twist of the branches,

the dusty lines of the goat trails.

And, before you know it, the night is gone,

and everything above is blue, sweet morning blue.

And then you recognise God as a master painter.

And wonder that he made these looming mountains

to bring out the light of the sky.

You see, I am Ghati.

I was born to these benevolent mountains

sitting magnificent and humble against the vast expanse of infinity.

Where I come from

our horizon is never a horizontal line:

it is multiple irregular ones meeting and intersecting like heartbeats

transposed on paper by an ECG

Our mother is the earth and father the blessed sky,

and we worship the meditative mountains

that define and separate the two.

We love them,

pray to them when our hearts need courage,

never afraid that our prayers won’t be heard

because our language isn’t ‘clean’

Like anything beautiful, our language is flawed,

it isn’t perfect,

yet our mountains hear us.

Have you ever spoken to the mountains?

You call me Ghati, but do you know the Ghats?

If you have never been sublimed by their spirit,

transported by their beauty,

you have yet to live.

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Priyamwada Redican Chakne (the daughter of a Catholic Canadian father and a Maharashtrian Chambhar mother), a spoken word poet born in Pune and raised in Jejuri, is now based in the Netherlands. Her debut collection of poetry Children of the Mountains is forthcoming from Panther’s Paw

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Published on January 24, 2020
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