Ports in Our Storms

In a family steeped in Hindu caste
I drop a bomb
“I’m going to marry a Christian!”

Ancient restrictions fall like dominoes:
“Marry any Brahmin”, then “Marry any Hindu”.
Emotional storms rage.

Buffeted by prior storms, with more to come
My mother shows hidden steel
“I’ll support your choice”.

My storms abate and I set sail
For the here and now.

Decades later, I return to care for her
As she lies sick
She smiles with understanding.

Her storms abate and she sets sail
For the hereafter.

V. Ramana Dhara is a physician who explores the links between health and the environment. He is a former member of the International Medical Commission on Bhopal. He tweets at @RamanaDhara.

Featured image: Henrieke Fischer/Unsplash