Oh India, what are you to me?

The landings to home-land are always strange. Especially since I spend years in the Otherland debating where I belong. The images of India get exaggerated since nostalgia seems to blind me to my so called ‘bad’ experiences. And then I end up shaking my head to anything that is remotely Indian, be it the sound of the vehicles honking in Menton or some random ‘Third-world’ smell in Algeria.

So I wonder: Oh India, what are you to me? Is this India in my head filled with images of my childhood that are more restricted to Ahmedabad? Is it the smell of rain melting into hot earth, or bubbles that I would blow in Law Garden as a kid (and I still sadly do, to the envy of all) or the romances I happened to indulge in? What is it?

For me, I have realized, India is my state of mind. For me, everywhere is India, and India is everywhere. It is as if I try to see everything in relation to India. Take France for instance: France is monetarily richer (compared to India) and less colorful (well, compared to India again). It is as if I draw the graph of my life with India being the independent variable (since I don’t happen to believe in the games that Time happens to play on me). The dependent could be, well, France, Menton, or even you! I can’t exactly say I love India, nor do I hate it. It is more like a place in my head, where I can sleep like a baby and not feel guilty in painting away my days staring at nothingness.

But I still continue to stop sometimes, and wonder: Oh India, what are you to me?


About Shreya Parikh

I am Shreya. Project Rethought is my attempt to rethink my own observations as a brown woman of Indian origin. I currently live in Paris where I teach at Sciences Po Paris and Parsons Paris-The New School.
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One Response to Oh India, what are you to me?

  1. Stavan parikh says:

    Oh India what are you to me ?A really good question when we go deep into it .I living in Kenya since last 2.5 years is always mentally in contact with India. When I dream, it is always Ahmedabad that comes and then the people over here I see them in India more precisely Ahmedabad .It is how our Brain has captured every bit of our native and we are now emmotionally bonded with it .Brain is an amazing thing .No super genius being has ever made a brain .There is no end if we think about it deeply .Many Quesions will arise but will have no answer.

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