drinks in India – a poem

we walk through markets

and smells of sandalwood

and burning plastic

and cooked, oily dough.

we finger mala beads

and soft pants they call trousers

we stop at cafes for drinks –

in america, we refer to “drinks”

when we want to go out

for happy hour

for glasses of wine

and fruity cocktails

but in india

“drinks” refer to

chai and mango lassis

beet juice with no added sugar

fresh squeezed lemon mint nana.

the green and peaceful

ganga river flows beneath us

there is no rush here

we are free to just sit

and watch

the ever flowing river

we order one, two, three, four

drinks

we laugh and laugh

we don’t look over the notebooks we brought

I read but two pages of my book

it is more interesting to drink and watch

there is more being here, and less doing.

We stay until the sun falls below the

Himalayas

and the Laxman Jhula bridge lights up.

Chanting rises from the nearby ashrams

they praise their universes

and complete their rituals.

We walk back up the dusty mountain

back to our little home

with the kind faces

and the chapati and the cow dung

and construction outside

ready to learn more tomorrow.

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