Author: Anu Karthik / Labels: , ,

Feb 17th 2010

"India". When I hear this word, a few hundred thoughts run in my mind and I feel a sense of longing, pride and happiness that I never experienced truly as long as I was there. Another proof to the adage "Distance makes the heart go fonder". It is quite close to a decade that I have not lived physically in the country and am more a visitor, but I live there so much more mentally than I ever have in the 20 odd years I spent in my desh.

You can take yourself away from India but you cannot take the Indian out of you. Living in the land of opportunities has its pluses, in fact I think you crave your homeland more because of the peace and ease of every day life here. If you are faced with corruption everyday and frustrated because you are dependent on people to get your things done, you are not going to be in a mindframe to appreciate the beauty or feel sorry about the deprived around you. One is going to be too focused on the umpteen personal battles to be won everyday.

As an Indian living here, I have also been asked the question many many times "So are you going to settle here or go back?". The answer to the question that I always give which is the truth too is that "I don't know, I am living one day at a time." And I say this with the full realization that that is the truth and not in any way trying to evade the question. I am not ashamed to admit that my time here has made me a more compassionate person, has truly made me explore my potential to the maximum. It is living here that I have learnt to look beyond just my home and my family and share and volunteer. But it has also made me see India for what a great country she is and appreciate the people and the diversity in which they co-exist so much more. And it has also many a time made me feel sad about how most of her wonderful treasures are just not treasured.

Why now? Well, I took a recent trip to India and this caused a surge of feelings during the onward journey, my time there and some realizations when I came back. I love it here and I love it there, but I can be in only one place at a time now right? But the key is to be physically and mentally in the same place at the same time, so I am not sitting in Oregon and wanting to go shopping in pondy bazaar and eating parotta chops in Saravana Bhavan! 


Anu Karthik said...

You can take yourself away from India but you cannot take the Indian out of you - Meera realized just now that you said something similar in one of my comments, so enna copyright violation ku sue panidathey :P

Sheela said...

Your thoughts here resonated with mine, Anu, especially after my trip to India last year. If I can merge the best aspects of Mylapore with my current neighborhood, I'd be in heaven. Or so I imagine :) You're in Oregon, eh? If you are ok with mentioning your city, email me - maybe we are in the same town :)

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