The wrinkled hands of my mother gently caress through my hair and make me ponder whether I remind of touchwood; hope for a better future. The imbalance of her body tightly clutches my arm, as if I am the traverse between the uncertainties of past trembling towards the future of prosperity. The audibility of silence designates my shoulders as the burden carrier of my ancestors, to mark our ancestral presence which is wilting with the course of time. The body in which I hold traumas and dreams of generations is ageing, wrinkling way before its course. The laugh lines that gently pave their way on the side of my lips represent the border within the Subcontinent, illustrating a false image of liberation and freedom of my lineage.
These 72 years of independence have resulted in mind-boggling negative impacts on the mindsets of each individual. The degradation of culture, language and human sanity by the western colonizers shook the Subcontinent’s heritage and beliefs to its core. The definite exploitation of identity for a Brown, Muslim of Subcontinent has affected the youth of the 21st century. Young minds of the Subcontinent like me do not belong anywhere; neither are we truly connected with our heritage and culture nor does the Western setting accept us because of our colour and religion. The yearning to find one’s identity and roots without any exterior influence remains as an appetence. Also, the questionability of self-sufficiency has been ebbed within; am I what I am capable of, or am I a by-product of baggage? The exhaustion of wondering, whether I will always be a mere reflection of the ‘what if’s of my older generations or deserve to be a human of my own entity stays as a question mark on my existence. The generational gap between my ancestors and I stretches its arms towards me, taking ahold of my progressions breath. As I gasp for transfiguration, coffins of compromise and silence revolt against me. However, I am certain that the fear of crossing boundaries in order to find one distinctive identity has not been inherited in me.
The aftermath of colonialism has truly impacted me as an individual, struggling with finding who I really am. However, I shall push past the Kalam of Baba Bulleh Shah ‘Bullah Ke Janah Mein Kon’ and learn about my culture, my ancestral struggles and myself to bring forth an identity of my own. The Post-colonial, Brown and Muslim identity which will be remembered as a touchwood for future generations is what I yearn for.