By Akshara Sharon Bansod, YES Alumni 2014-15

A girl named Franci,

Who was from Italy;

Came to India,

And smiled sweetly.

Initially shy,

And I don’t know why;

When she opened up,

She often seemed high.

She was quick to adjust,

And never would protest;

But if she didn’t like something,

She’d say it with disgust.

She was awesome,

With a pinch of sarcasm;

And whenever she washed her hair,

It would curl up and blossom.

She was sixteen,

And somewhere in between;

In the month of September,

She turned seventeen.

She started school,

And seemed to be cool;

But eating pineapple pizza?

She said, ‘ Only a fool’.

She cooked pasta,

We said it was ‘masta’;

And on a holiday,

She loved taking a siesta.

She would sleep till late,

And stay awake;

Till 2 am sometimes,

And then rush like a snake.

Disorganisation all around,

Everywhere clothes were found;

But that was okay,

As by the family rules she abound.

She liked the spicy food,

And said that it was good;

But after coming from Gujarat,

Her stomach changed her mood.

Now less spices and NO biriyani,

She was nice and always funny;

But sometimes she’d be frustrated,

And instead of ‘honey’, would call me ‘aani’.

A wonderful sister,

And a sweet daughter;

She became family,

By sharing sorrow and laughter.

Road trips and weddings,

Tea time, snacks and singing;

Even the odds and lows,

I am going to miss everything.

The days went by,

And I will not lie;

It feels sad,

To say goodbye.

My words may lack,

As she’s ready to pack;

But let me tell you, Franci,

We love you to the moon and back.

You now have a home here,

Though far, still near;

Connected by heart and Internet,

You will always be in our prayer.

Hope to see you soon again,

And pray that you may always gain;

Everything that your heart desires,

And may our bond sustain.