O Saraswati, seated on a swan
Lotus in hand, and clad in white
Mother of speech and verse,
I salute you in your voice.
Born in the palm of the Mother
And raised on her nectar
Her mantra and her tutelage
In shayaris and ghazals.
I am born again and again
To write the stories of
Joy, despair, and humanity
In rhythmic justice and beauty.
Inspired to reforge and refine
My faith in the divine,
I must write of suffering
To come face to face with it.
To lift up the grievances, cries
And painfully suppressed verses.
Removing them from a long list
Such is the way of the activist.
To do away with class and caste
To relish in our equality at last
Is to see humanity in one another
And be absolved of suffering.
Down their spine and into their souls
Giving strength to bring down walls,
Verse sends shivers and rings
Eternal the minds of its listeners.
I take up the lofty title of "poet".
A Hindu American ready to own it
Who will seek truth in rhyme
And lift voices from silence.