Friday, August 5, 2011

Boston Musings

(Hopefully it is a start of a series...) 

"You know," said Arthur, "it's at times like this, when I'm trapped in a Vogon airlock with a man from Betelgeuse, and about to die of asphyxiation in deep space that I really wish I'd listened to what my mother told me when I was young."
"Why, what did she tell you?"
"I don't know, I didn't listen." -- Hitchhikers guide to Galaxy... 

So only few days remain, then I fly… and I am feeling funny, really funny.

 I am hounded by questions from family, friends and foes… The most annoying being – So all set to go? No I haven’t set anything; I have just packed my bags, that doesn’t really set anything, does it? Then of course there is advice and point of views gushing from all corners, drowning me in exasperation --   ‘Do not limit yourself to just Indians, you’re going to a new country, explore’ , ‘Make sure you make few good Indian friends, coz they are the ones who will always come through for you’ , ‘You are toh half American anyways (just because I love sitcoms and Italian food)’,  ‘ Eat up, you’ll miss Indian food’ , ‘ Carry a Saree and few kurtis’ ,’Carry spices , don’t carry spices, carry this, that , and what not ’ , ‘Learn to make dal sabji will you and don’t drink too much’, the last one is of course my mother’s pearls of wisdom.    And so it goes, some ridiculous, some funny, some downright silly and yet I find myself pondering over all of them, very seriously.
Suddenly the word ‘Indian’ has a whole new perspective. It is but natural; when you’re leaving your country, one has to deal with the issue of nationality, and especially if it is something that one has taken for granted all her life. It is slightly disconcerting, when simplest things make you question and worry about your way of life that has been. Makes me wonder whether being an Indian is a measurable quantity.

It has to be said though I am going to miss my parlour waali and I am excited about all the hummus I can easily buy from stores there.

The packing part has been trying. In all these years I have never touched a jar of pickle, and now I sit contemplating whether I should carry a couple. I have never cooked Dal in my life, I can barely distinguish between spices and here I am toying with the idea of carrying some. I don’t know what it is, is it the want of sticking to being an Indian clich√© or simply that I am feeling nostalgic. The fact that I am wondering whether certain things which I barely use here will be available there is getting me all hassled.
It is amazing how you learn certain interesting things about self when you sit packing for another country.
What will I miss most, what I cannot do with? What do I take?  Is it really required? These questions haunt my being day in and day out and I am truly perturbed. I never knew I was so attached to my hair oils.

I am as excited as nervous, I go to a country I am so familiar with and have absolutely no idea what is in store for me. A mixed bag of emotions, reservations, expectations and dreams.

I know it will all sort itself, and these are just pre leaving jitters. The nostalgia has already taken over, I smile to self, there are going to be some major changes. The best I can do is ‘just be’ and let the tide wash over… 

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