My favourite quote leaves me in knots

“The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,

But I have promises to keep

And miles to go before I sleep

And miles to go before I sleep”

I do not remember the first time I read Robert Brown. I might have been in year 9. You would know me as the girl with a red tika. I prayed every morning before catching the yellow school van. The temple was quite small. Mornings were quiet there. It used to be a fleeting visit. Just a holler and a tika. We were very few travelling to school from “Jamna par” (across the Yamuna River). The van used to fit us all, almost. Two of us, Charitra and I used to the occupants of the two doorsteps. With a book each, we barely spoke. That’s probably when I first came across “Stopping by woods on a snowy evening” by Robert Frost. I would read more of the poet in the years to come, but the words stuck to me. I would stare through the glass pane on the door as the world went past, trying to interpret the words. All I would understand was “keep going”.

These words might mean different for readers. Interpretation could be based on existing surrounding, stage of life, state of physical health, state on mind, and journey of life in general.  For me it has always brought a sigh. Sometimes of relief and many a times of pain. I keep going back to the poem. Rereading it the nth time. Interpreting it the nth time. Interpretations based on circumstances.

The quote sits apt with the feeling when I am set to fly back from my annua India trips. After fifteen years of living abroad, my stomach knots at the mere thought of whiff of smoky streets of Delhi mixed with the pattering raindrops on tin sheds of chai stalls next to bus stops. The same stops where I used to wait for DTC buses to get to my college, work, and clients. The memories of bus trips are few of the ones that I do not wish to retain. I digress.

“Chai, hot tikki with green and meethi chutney, wet earth stuck on my Kolhapuri adorned feet, spots of which are now visible on my white salwar, blue batic kurta, and an urge to get back home to mom’s special adrak wali chai and dad’s special jackfruit curry” – my lovely, dark and deep woods. But I leave it all behind, catch the flight back to where I hustle, I struggle, I survive – every single day, all because I have promises to keep and miles to go before I sleep.  

The prompt for Write-A-Page-A-Day by Blogchatter was to write about two of my favourite quotes. I present one here but I might write about another one of my favourite quotes in a later post.

Thanks for reading. See you later!

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