As Charles Dickens once said, to start at the beginning is to start with, “I was born.”
I was born – born to a place with titan jungles still crawling out of Greek mythology, a plot of land on the edge of the world’s lungs. A living, breathing prehistoric cosmos nestled into the northern coast of South America, Guyana: post colonial, third world, forgotten about by most and remembered only by those seeking wilderness adventures.
But I must admit that that hardly feels like my beginning. It has been coiffed within me – a belief that to be born cannot be the beginning any more than to die can be the end. Instead I consider that before me there was my mother, there was my father. Before them there were their mothers and fathers, and before them there were others.
My beginnings stretch across oceans and places I have never lived, places to which my mother was born and longs to return, only to find herself unsuited now after years of separation. My beginnings sprung out of the red dirt and incense of her childhood. My beginnings spoke other tongues. They are buried under the packed earth of rickshaw-wallas’ feet. They are mixed with abir and grated coconut flesh. My beginnings ate puchkas and gulab jamun in the streets on the way home from school. My beginnings are Buddhism, Hinduism and Mathematics. My beginnings built the Taj Mahal for love and the Red Temple for respect.
You see, I think that we begin long before ourselves. We flow through time, one generation after another, meandering along history, changing and evolving. And even after we are gone, we leave those pieces of ourselves behind to join the endless flow.
All of that boils down to: My mother was born in India. My Father was born in Guyana, as was I. Now I live in Trinidad and Tobago, a small and beautiful pair of islands in the Caribbean. I just married a Canadian-Trinidadian and ventured into a new time of my life. All these places, histories and experiences influence me. I’m thirty three years old and still a little girl at heart in many ways. One day, if all the stars in the Universe align just right, I’ll pour that story that I have in me into a book of my own. One day, very soon, I suspect. Until then, I hope you enjoy my blog.