I read somewhere that ‘Here is no better than there and there is no better than here’. Whether it rings true or not, I must admit it’s a great attitude to have. Home is where the heart is but what if your heart flutters around. Most immigrants will tell you it tugs at their hearts when they go back to the land they grew up in. For a few days you feel like you belong nowhere. Over the years of course you adapt to your new country and slowly it becomes more your home than the one you’ve grown up in. But I doubt anyone ever really completely moves on.
Here in America you live for the future, your weekend, the next holiday as you toil today but you live completely and truly for yourself.
In India you live for others but boy do you live in the moment! The bliss of not really thinking too much about the next day, not because you don’t want to but because there’s too much to do, too many distractions you get caught up in there is no time nor space to sit and mope around – you get caught up in the samosas, the movies, the gup-shup, the arrangements for a wedding, the festivities, the nation’s or the neighborhood’s scandal .. to get lost in coversation and abruptly pick up and hop on to get some fresh paan … poverty and greed, rich and poor, chaos in contrasts all living alongside with gay abandon.
You’re at ease here, even with all the worries and stressors, you’re less stressed than you are in the west … maybe it’s because you’re forced to laugh with a neighbour or at the state of things .. you cannot live here if you do not have a massive sense of humor and a thick skin. It’s a merry go round like no other – my beautiful ugly vibrant amazing colourful India … how I miss you.
So crowded and overflowing unlike you America. You with your vast stark cold open spaces, so proper, so polite, so lonely. But I’ve missed you too. Your clean air and roads, the simple rules, the solitude and peace, the courtesy and respect, the smiling strangers, the independence. I want you both. I cannot choose and so I have chosen to live in pain, never completely satisfied, never completely here nor there. But then again I’m reminded ‘Here is no better than there and there is no better than here’