I wish to let go of my dreams of America or more precisely, a holiday in the Americas. To leave behind, the tears that stream down my face every time I see my pretty niece and handsome nephews. Faces that I can only glimpse in Whatsapp images and like in Facebook timelines. Those adorable little’s I wish I could reach out to, inside my phone screen, if ever that was possible.
This is how it goes. Spending four months to make true something you wish to death. Praying harder than you’ve ever done. Hoping against hope. Practicing your sentences an hour in front of the mirror every day. Diaries scribbled with possible questions and answers to them. All disappear in five minutes, ending with the words, “You are not eligible for a visa.”
I’ve heard this sentence three times and each time is harder than before. You see it in your dreams, you’re with the family, celebrating. You’ve got all the right papers and this time, you say, this time, it will work out. You walk in with small expectations yet with a swelling amount of hope; utter the words you’ve rhymed in your mind, to end up sobbing in the embassy restroom.
The hardest part is calling the people a thousand miles away, who’ve stayed up till 3 a.m in their continent, waiting to hear you say, “This time, we’re good”.
When the people you love most in the world are oceans away and there are people blocking the path through those oceans, you mightily wish you were born a century earlier. Where maybe embassies and five minute interviews don’t determine whether you can visit them or not. Where crossing the ocean was as easy as getting in the boat and sailing away.
You wish you could walk in the embassy with a warrant from the highest officials saying this Indian citizen will be arrested if she doesn’t return within six months or even three or two. She just wants to see her sisters, their children, their houses, their playrooms. She just wants to live with them awhile and click photographs that they can frame on their walls. And she’ll return, she surely will.
But there is no such way. If Obama would hear me out then maybe he’d whisk out a miracle, but any other way is just painful than before. And so America the Great, I give up, I give up on trying to step foot in your land. I am not worthy in your eyes and I don’t know what I could do to be better, I’ve tried, you know I did.
I only wish I could let go of these dreams – of spending a day with three little children whose births I never witnessed, just a day or two in the park, rolling in the sand, swinging high above the trees, splashing our foot on water. Capturing some memories in video rolls.
And to my sisters, I love you wider than the oceans that separate us.