Tourist in my own country

I left India right after high school. Every vacation I take back to my country is an opportunity for me to discover something new, visit a new street, eat at a new restaurant, meet my family and friends, experience watching a movie in cinema, watch plays at theaters. Do all the things I missed out had I gone to graduate school in my city, or became the adult I am today. 
For all practical reasons I’m the outsider. I realize that in spite of my acute sense of patriotism, my immense pride in my country, most people treat me like a foreigner. It’s interesting as I realized a long time ago, that I’m far more aware of what is happening on the political/ economic scene and more in tune to the international presence that India has than a lot of people I know within India.
I do not generalize though. I have always enjoyed speaking to a co-passenger, or the taxi driver, rickshaw wallah, relative, friend who knows the city roads, reads the news paper or has an informed opinion and is up for a stimulating conversation.
Coming home stopped being the same after my father died. It continues to be home though. India continues to be where I feel I belong the most in spite of all the places I have lived and the reactions I receive from people here. 
India isn’t the same as I left behind. The people, landscape, economics, politics, attitudes have all undergone a change. I embrace this change as any citizen would. Some I don’t approve of, most I enjoy to watch. Some bewilder me, some make me wonder where did we go wrong? 
No matter how hard people try to make me look like the outsider, it’s always a great experience coming back home.

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8 Comments

Filed under Environment, Experiences, Friends, Home, Life, People, Personal, Thoughts, Travel

8 responses to “Tourist in my own country

  1. How much of the change that you see in India is from you leaving there a child and coming back as an adult? Or, perhaps, adopting some ideas from your new country? Are you glad that you moved or wish that you would have stayed?

    I’m sorry that you lost your dad. Going back to his home isn’t the same for me either.

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    • The change I talk about is from what I left behind as a child to what I see now. I think it is a classic immigrant behavior. We like to hold on to what we remember. Which is one reason I like to go back often. I want to be in tune with the changes. I want to continue to feel a part of the change, development and progress. How ever not everything we do is for the good. But that is true of any country.

      I am very glad about the opportunities that I was afforded. Also I think the person that I am, or have become would not do very well in what India has to offer right now. I am in a very happy place at the moment. They say, the real struggle starts when you have children. So I will report back then.

      I am sorry for your loss as well. I know, it is hard. I have a mom, who makes everything worth it though. Even the pain. She has truly held the fort down.

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  2. SA

    What do you feel about living so far away? I sometimes have this feeling that I don’t belong anywhere because I have been pretty nomadic so far.. I am not sure if its a good thing/ bad thing? I feel that I am everywhere and also nowhere.

    Then I look at the experiences, memories and life that I have lived so far and feel alright about that..!

    Yes, I like this fact that you try to soak in whatever you can when you are in India. Is it because your vacation hours are numbered and you want to get whatever you can?

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    • I don’t feel I am very far actually. I know about physical distances, but in all senses the world is definitely shrinking by the minute. I hear what you are saying about being nomadic. I have been trying to plant roots for a while now. I think in my current situation I feel pretty settled. I feel it is a matter of perspective and attitude. It doesn’t take much to feel like we belong to a place, but then again we could be in the same spot for years and yet not have any foundations. It is all very personal and individual.

      That is just a function of who I am. Every place I visit, I like to get the most out of it. Food, culture, people and not necessarily in that order.

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  3. Change is an inevitable part of life and I am glad too that Indian authorities are striving their best to bring about the necessary changes. You will always be proud to call it home, I believe. 🙂

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