I read this article 'Why I left India(again)' recently and re-read this today. I know this article has made rounds over and over again. It has been commented/ criticised, appreciated and murdered.
For me, it felt very real. I hung onto each word and involuntarily shaking my head. I think I can relate to where the author was coming from.
I have been out of India for a decade now. My formative and impressionable years have been out of India. I have been teased as NRI (Not Required in India).
I go 'back home' on and off to meet family, eat at familiar joints, try out new places, relax in air conditioning and appreciate the help at home. I go back since my family is there, it’s my native country. But more often than not, towards the end of my trips, I crave to come back to my familiar grounds. Being in 'vacation mode' might have a lot to do with that.
Being expats in London now, I am often asked: Where are you from? I should respond @I am from India, but more often than not my response is 'I recently moved from Chicago.'
Why you ask?
I can relate to my life in US much more than I can relate to my life a decade ago in India.
It sucks to say that. But it’s true. It took me a lot of time and courage and guilt to come out and say: 'I don’t think I am returning to India anytime soon, barring any life changing/ family health emergencies, we are living outside India'
Once I said that out loud, I repeated it and made peace with myself. Yes, I get scornful looks, raised eyebrows, OMG how can you say that and best of all 'Traitor'
I am learning to develop a thick skin now.
My family life, professional obligations and daughter’s upbringing and education has made definitely made a huge contribution in our decision/ state of mind. But if I look in the mirror, its more to do with 'My View Today'.
India is my native country. No matter where I go in life, what I do, I always will be Indian, my passport has little to do with it. I don’t have to explain how great, developing and changing India’s temperament is today. Everyone knows it. And I can’t even do justice to it.
I adore going back to India. Its home in all sense of the word. But sadly my Life is not in India right now. I may or may not return to India. But I do know wherever I am and will be, I will be Indian.It’s not the type of food, the language, the colour, and the clothes you wear; where you live that make you more or less Indian. Your ethnicity makes the foundation of who you are. Period.