- I came to the US ten years ago, eyes filled with dreams and two bags filled with all I could manage to bring with me to the US. There has not been a day when I have not missed India. I remember every minute of the 22 good years I spent there. I am still a citizen of India and proud of it. This is probably the reason why you will find tons of memoirs of my childhood and growing up here in this blog.
- If I, a citizen of India cannot express concern or opinion about India then who can? Just because I moved to a greener pasture does not mean I severed connections with my hometown/country. So moving around the country from one state to state is okay but not out of the country? Let me illustrate, would you ask a Delhi-ite living in Chennai to stop caring or loving Delhi? Or for a Chennai-ite living in Bengaluru? Seriously! How immature.
- Being out of the country, I make sure that I celebrate all the festivals that I used to growing up. I even do the ones I did not just to keep in touch with home and memories of home. I make sure I go to the temple (that I ignored for most part when I lived in India) at least once a month.
- I make sure that my daughter knows Sanskrit shlokas over western music.
- I see Desi movies in Hindi, Tamil and Telugu and sometimes even Malayalam and Kanada.
- I am very concerned about what is happening there and always send a check for any relief operations going on in India.
- In fact, when I go to India, I am the one who feels like an Indian because the rest of the country obviously is way Westernized that I am. And everyone is ready to show off that they know more about America or any other country than we do.
- You, the Indian living in India want to do everything Western (I do not have a problem with that). What with the coffee shop culture, buying Gerber food for babies, and all the foreign face creams and kiddie toys. You are more Westernized than me because I still believe in using good ol' Multani Mitti and coconut oil on my hair once a week. Thank you!
- I am the one who is eager to wear a salwar or a saree when the first opportunity presents itself while you would be the one to jump up wear a tee over tights and talk about Jimmy Choo's and Botega Venetta. Sorry, I still like my mojri's and the handicraft sling bag.
- I am the one who comes to India once every four years craving for the samosa and to shop at local handicraft store while you are the one that eats Pizza and shops at one of those malls.
- I cook Indian meal every day possible. I make sure that my daughter knows her dal and rice and veggies before anything else. While most of you are fighting to get a reservation to a Mexican, Italian, or McDonalds just so you can show off to your peers. Just FYI, Taco Bell is not a cool place in the US, it is just another fast food junk food place.
I can keep on listing but I will stop here because by now I have given a fair picture of what my Indian life is like and what your pseudo-western life is like. And yet, I am not Indian enough for you? I cannot say that the roads need to be wider in the metropolis because I do not suffer it everyday? It is like telling me not to worry about finding a cure for cancer because I am not suffering it. How stupid and silly. I am worried about it for your sake, for the sake of my friends who live there, for my family, for my city, my state and my country. I am worried that we are building faster than we plan. I am worried that we have an entire nation lagging behind while we are piling up in our cities. I am worried that the neighboring nations are taking up parts of our country. I am worried that idiots like you who are blindly mimicking Western traditions are forgetting what our country is built up from, we are forgetting that we can be proud of India even when we are not playing a cricket match against the Pakis. I am worried that one day in the future that I might be there suffering with you, while you, who is already living there, is living in a life of illusions. Illusions made up of brand name clothes and shoes that tread on the very pavement a man with no food or clothes will be sleeping on in the night. And whatever the case might be, take some positive/constructive criticism and try to fix it rather than asking me to shut up because if I can, I would. I am ready to help always!