In fourteen hundred and ninety two,
Columbus sailed the ocean blue…
And all hell broke loose
Hell? Yep! HELL!
Indigenous peoples were summarily killed off by exotic diseases, bayonets or gunfire…at least from their points of view!
There are many off shoots of the original Columbus story…may I present my own?
Hundreds of years ago my innocent ancestors were shoved aboard British Cargo ships and taken to the West Indies, which Columbus had earlier discovered.
My ancestors were packed like sardines into the hulls of the cargo ships along with other precious human cargo from the African continent.
The Indians and the Africans were transported to the faraway islands to be slaves and indentured laborers.
They did not have to have any actual currency…they only paid with their lives!
If they survived the torturous journey they got to disembark IN chains!
They were then immediately put to work in the sugar cane fields and that is how hundreds of years later a baby girl called Indrani Nathu came to be born in Trinidad and Tobago!
My great, great, great, great grandfather was unceremoniously transported to the newly discovered West Indies…a ONEWAY passage into a life of Hell.
He left all that he had ever known and would never be able to see his parents or siblings again… just think of this for one minute.
Imagine someone coming into your city and taking one of your sons and you never see him again. He is alive…just unavailable to you!
All alone on the other side of the world and probably not speaking a word of English, he made a life for himself. He found someone to marry and his offspring belonged to his Master.
In 1953, I was born into an East Indian family, now completely living a West Indian life.
I never thought about my ancestors, I lived my life and accepted all that had happened without giving thought to their hardships.
BUT now, I am going BACK to a city that I have never been to…except through my ancestral blood line.
I am completing the ROUND TRIP for my ancestors who were so sadly stripped from all that they knew.
I am heading to Chennai, India to teach my workshops on Domestic Violence.
I feel so honored to be completing this journey for my family. I only wish I knew where to find my people so I could tell them that their beloved sons survived and married and eventually thrived.
In the absence of knowing exactly which families I came from, I will honor all the people I meet and treat them all as family knowing that some elements of my DNA probably lives within them.
This journey has come full circle…and it does feel like coming home.
Love and light,