Robert Brault said “Enjoy the little things, for one day you may look back and realize they were the big things.”
There will always be a new place to explore, new friends to make, new dreams to dream and newer memories to cherish but you hold onto the old chronicles of life for it gave you those little things that made big memories for you! Alas, it took me 33 years to realize this! I migrated but I didn’t completely move on, for India still lingers in my mind and I remember her every now and then. I guess whoever said ‘You can take the man out of India but you cannot take India out of the man’ wasn’t really lying.
The Taste of India
Dollars I have, fancy hotels I go to, but what’s the use for all I want is my Mama’s food.
To me, USA is a hotel, and India my home. Of course, hotel treats you well, it provides you clean sheets, fresh water, exotic meals and puts you in the lap of luxury. But after a while, you start getting uncomfortable and you miss home, and oh boy! what you miss the most…ghar ka khana. Even though, most of my lunches and dinners consist of Indian food, and I venture out to desi restaurants too, yet I am hungry, very hungry! I know I will get completely satiated only when I reach home.
The Colors of India
Take me in your embrace O! India for what I have become is a painting in black and white.
When I was in India, I shunned colors and thought the pinks and blues on people and things, looked gaudy. Indeed with migration, my perception and thoughts have changed too. Texas is a lovely place, only wished it was bit more colorful. I miss my rainbow India, the smiling, vibrant, happy colors of India…the yellow cabs, shiny pink sarees, green & blue houses, even an Indian bride in full bloom with her red bindi, sindoor, mehendi and the gorgeous lehenga!
The Crowd of India
I longed for a quiet little corner, to think about things. Now that I have enough of it, the utter silence seems to scare me.
Lot of open spaces used to mean freedom, and silence therapeutic, but not anymore. I miss that noise of the day and the lights of the night and everything in between. Groups of families shopping together, the hullaballoo in the sabji mandi, the pack of people trying to cross a busy road…the queue, the disorientation, the chaos, the rush. If you were to be a part of this, how will you feel? Crazy? Think again. YOU FEEL ALIVE.
The Sounds of India
The sounds of India used to annoy me but now they make music to my ears.
The country is a beautiful orchestra, and I miss every beat of it. Be it the shaadi ki band baja, the non-stop tring tring of mobile phones, sabji wala bhaiya shouting ‘bhindi le lo, bhindi le lo‘, the honking of cars, salesmen at your door with ‘Madam, insurance lena hai’, mandir ki ghanti, and every other jingle. Although I sit here, far, far away, yet The Sound of India reverberates in my ears, and even teases the silence of the West!
The Sights of India
Then, I detested those spectacles and exhibitions. Now, I long to see the drama.
You wouldn’t feel bored in India, that’s a guarantee for the country entertains you to your heart’s content. There’s always a sight, a sound or a smell to keep you amused, engaged and make your India experience simply incredible. Where else can you witness high powered street fights or mysterious cows walking away to glory? If that’s not enough, you have crazy signboards in broken English, beggars who speak fluent English, trees turned into temples, unbelievable traffic jams and what not.
Today, all I have is memories of those fascinating Sights and Sounds of India, and honestly, I’ve truly begun to appreciate and value them more than I have ever before. Who knew that eventually what I would miss the most would be small and trivial things that didn’t appear big and important then. Life teaches, or, maybe migration makes you wise.