.It’s surprising and shocking at the same time that America is a Mini World. You can not walk down a street without encountering people from 3-4 different continents. However, this often leads to an identity crisis. In certain ways , It’s a No Man’s Land.
You could spend an eternity over here and still not feel like Home. The Country gives you everything you ask for. Living here is like Dreaming with open eyes .Everything around you is Beautiful and Breathtaking . Everyone smiles at you and says , ” Hello , How are you doing ? ” but the conversation ends here 99 % of the times.
More than courtesy , it becomes a compulsion .
Right in front of my Apartment , there lives an Old Man with his cat. He looks extremely happy and content with his life.Probably , he is. While checking out Furniture Stores in the City , a woman in her thirties told me about how her life changed after Divorce. .She said that her Ex- Husband was Cranky and was always looking for faults .He passed on so much Negativity into her that she has to break up. Pointing at my Husband , she said He too was a Software Engineer. I prefered to smile than explain myself.
Everyone pretends that they have a wonderful life but inside , they are waiting to be found , loved and appreciated. Unlike , Indians like to pretend that they are Miserable but inside they are happy and content with everything. We like being in Trouble. We always talk about how bad the weather is and how annoying is the new neighbour. We do not feel the need to hide ourselves beneath faces.
If Everyone smiled at each other in India , within few months , We’d become a close knit family of chachu and masi and bua. It hardly takes a metro ride for us to dig inside the present , past and future of the person. We do not shy away from asking how much they earn , how many bedrooms they have in their apartment , where do they go for shopping etc etc etc . For the matter of fact , all we need is to over hear the phone conversations with relatives and all puzzles are solved.
I have been in States before and I know how it works here. You feel like being transported to another Planet where everyone understands English but nobody bothers to talk.
I remember the Short Term Course I took at California . I had colleagues from all sections of the society and all age groups. It offers Versatility and Best Opportunities. People loved expressing themselves. They just wanted to keep on talking no matter how insane that sounds. My Story was appreciated and they kept asking me about India. Everyone was Warm and Friendly inside the class room but the moment we stepped out of the room , we were strangers.For me , It was very Strange.
I come from a Society where people from different religions , cultures , faiths and cuisines co exist quite happily together. It’s no wonder to see a Bong Woman relishing North Indian Food , ordering a Masala Dosa with Dhokla or rasagulla. We celebrate Diwali and Durga Puja alike.We value Relationships. We have very strong roots. Our Friendships are for Lifetime and So are our Life Partners. It’s bad manners to head straight towards home after the class ends in India. The most precious time is spent outside class rooms .
All of a sudden the ground beneath your feet shakes and You wonder where do I really belong. There is a strong desire to live at two places during the same time. I miss India when I am in America and yearn to run away to States when in India. It’s a Dichotomy. I want the family gatherings every month but I admire being Alone too. I have the Freedom to do anything I like but there’s no Fun without Real Friends.
I miss my Family and Friends immensely…but I equally love the Land called America .