An Indian in Khon Kaen
This is about my life in Khon Kaen, which is a city in North Eastern Thailand – supposedly the poorest region in Thailand. One thing is for sure: this region is not on the tourist map like cities and places in North and South of Thailand. So this may very well be the poorest region of Thailand. The infrastructure and daily life in Khon Kaen city is adequate for living comfortably as a working Mom with a small child – no traffic jams, no competitive pressures to excel in society, school or anywhere, no judgment, no questions asked, easy availability of daily necessities of life which satisfy my predominantly big-city upbringing. But also there is no social cushion – when we are sick or in trouble no one is there to help us, all help is in form of paid domestic staff, no social life, no extended family, no cultural comfort. It is an interesting living. It is as if I am carrying out an experiment on myself.
The post is also about my perceptions of life in general – it is about finding inspiration in mundane, everyday life, in situations which offer no motivation to do better (and how one can push ahead and do better or do different things to make oneself feel better) and sometimes the urge to go beyond, push forward or move ahead with sparks of ideas and abundance of creative materials swirling around me. This is also about our inevitable mortality and purpose of life, and seizing every moment of every day to make it better and live without regrets or any feeling or thoughts of inadequacy. The effort is a work in progress. I am not quite there yet.
What is without and what is within are not the same,
Death and oblivion are not the same.
One may fade from this world without a word
But as long as there is life within me I will say what is there in my heart
Also read – some of my recent contributions in various publications
I was interviewed by an Indian American student a few months ago on my perceptions of life in a small city in Thailand where there are very few South Asians, let alone Indians.
Alisa Golden, the tireless editor and publisher of online and print literary magazine – Star 82 Review – chose this work of mine in a new anthology. The photo was taken at Qutub Minar in Delhi and the very short poem is about carrying on with doing what we are doing because it’s the only way.
The link to the full anthology of 100 “pocket poems” is here.
A couple of years ago, I contributed some poems for a novel co-written by a friend. The novel has now been published under the name “The Broken Amoretti”. You can order the book here.
© Photo & Text: Sanchita Chatterjee 2019
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