…or some other far-flung destination
is what my disillusioned spirit craves.
To escape the humdrum of the quotidian,
the stress of everyday monotony is, I believe,
the duty – nay, the imperative – of the questing
mind, the hungry imagination.

And India would serve that hunger well.
Not the sweltering slums of Calcutta
or the hopeless misery of impoverished millions;
the fly-blown carcasses of the fallen dead;
the complete despair in the eyes of small children:
such brute reality demands a different response.

No, the India I seek is another realm,
where moonlight gleams on temple ruins
and colourful birds delight the eye
each sun-washed day; an India
where Dr. Aziz still yearns to impress
Miss Quested in the echoing Malabar Caves.

Such an India may not exist outside
the pages of Forster’s novel; an India
of the pining heart, rather than
the reasoning mind, but the sorcery
lingers, the spell will not be broken –
my ship awaits and Miss Quested beckons.

Bill Fitzsimons

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