Last year this time I was in a plane, coming to USA for the first time, with my hubby and three kids. I was unsure of what future holds for me. How will I get along with new country, new culture and new people?
It turned out, pretty good. For those, who have read my post on How America is treating me…., would know what I am talking about. I didn’t write anything about India at that time, reason being, I wanted to feel it by the course of time, If I do indeed miss being in India? Or, what exactly did I miss about being there?
Now, that I have spent one whole year, I think I am eligible enough to write my first experience of missing India. So here it goes…. not necessarily in a specific order.
Indian Food – bet I won’t be the only one to agree on this point but, Indian food tastes better, in India only. You can visit any top notch restaurant of the world, but the taste of spices, that you have in Indian food, can not be found anywhere. I have been to the Indian restaurants here, but taste is not the same. I cook daily (almost), but still it’s not the same. I have eaten food cooked by others too, but it’s not the same. Miss that aroma, that smell of Indian soil and air.
Crowd – I know you may not agree with me on this one, but I do miss that crowd, that long stretch of people everywhere around you. When you go out and you start seeing people the moment you step out of your door, to the small lanes, parks, elevators, stairs and main roads…. everywhere a stream of people running for their daily errands. It’s so lively, as if everything has a life. Here I can stroll around blocks away from my home without seeing a single soul for miles (if we leave people running to their destinations, in their cars).
Movies – I do see Indian movies here, in theaters too, but the feeling is not the same. Indian movies are meant to be seen in big halls, with a cheering and whistling crowd of movie watchers; with some school kids still in their school uniforms bunking their classes; few college going love birds trying to find their corner seats; some oversize uncles spreading their legs and bumping your seat over and over again; smell of that buttery popcorn and slurping sounds of big colas; this is what Indian movies audience should be like. Miss it here.
Indian kids – I miss kids playing in the neighborhood. Now, nobody rings my doorbell and runs away before I open the door. 🙂 I miss that innocence when little girls would come by ringing your door bells not once or twice but million of times and would ask, “Can we take Tisha to our home for play?”. I miss kids playing cricket in the streets or flying kites on the roof, and shouting with all the strength of their lungs, on small victories. I miss seeing kids all dressed up in their uniforms, looking fresh and tidy in the mornings. Miss seeing grandparents dragging and carrying those same kids, exhausted after school, and take them back to home. Miss the mayhem and mischief of kids.
My Neighborhood – I miss that chat with the neighbors through balcony having sips of tea in between. How easily we discussed everything from household matters to cricket to debate on who should be the next prime minister, with the whole neighborhood, while still in the comfort of our homes. I miss those small gatherings on the stairs with the neighbors, which used to start with the simple namaste and how are you?, to discussion about their daughter’s friend’s kids school admissions. I miss those visits by neighborhood uncle, who will come by just to say hello. Miss listening to Hindi songs playing on a radio of a very distant shop.
Late Nights – In India we have a wrong notion that people in USA have a better night life, as if they party all night, and have more fun, than us. On the contrary, I have found, here people sleep early, to be precise 8pm is their sleeping time, while we on the other hand would not even have our dinner by that time. Markets are close by 8 or max 9, and then you have no place to go to. I miss those evenings/night snacks of chaat and golgappas by roadside at 10 pm. Going out to eat at 11 and still be able to find good food, specially those late nights aaloo paranthas in Noida.
Driving on Indian Roads – It would be insane to say that, but seriously, the fun that you have while driving on Indian roads can never be the same in USA. I loved going on long drives there, specially on highways; here it looks like every road is a highway, pretty boring. Missed that road rage and honking. Cutting into each others lanes and taking wrong turns. It may sound bad, but it was thrilling (however, I would never advise others to do that). Miss bikes and rickshavalas passing alongside your cars and taking sharp turns, miss cycles and school vans, with kids waving byes.
Street Food and Dhabas on Roadside – Dear dhabavalas, you are really a blessing, and now I have realized your importance. The way we can stop our cars anywhere on the road and would find a small dhaba, have a little glass (not cup) of tea with pakoras… yumm… and those jaljira places in summers…. ooohhh…. missing you. Miss aaloo chaat, golgappa, momos, chowmein, paranthas, ice creams, and jalebi shops/counters (thela to be precise).
Indian stores and Markets – Maggi and Dairy Milk Chocolate are no longer soem food item for me, they are life’s little pleasures. You will know it, when you have to go to 100 miles to buy a dairy milk chocolate. Running to Indian stores to buy that Imli chatni or Indian namkeens and sweets….. how easy it was in India, to go to a store on a walking distance and buy these life’s small luxuries. Step out of your home, and there you will have a shop, delivering everything that you desire, sometimes home delivery too.
Most importantly, I miss family and friends. Miss those times when we would just go to a friend’s place unannounced, just to have a cup of tea, and would come back fully loaded having dinner. Miss that, when you feel close enough to your family and friends to be able to reach them in time of need within hours. Every birthday or small celebration with your close ones. People who really matter in your life. Miss home and miss my hometown. Miss actually everything that my country has. Miss India. 😦
It turned out so much fun that I am kinda hooked on it, literally. 🙂
But it’s not the first time I hold a crochet hook in my hands. In fact, I don’t even remember, when I did it the first time. :O
I must be in 6th or 7th standard, when I got enrolled into Home Science classes. I didn’t wanted to, as cooking and home science was an alien subject to me at that time. I would have preferred meeting an alien than joining a home science class. Only problem, it was compulsory to attend. All the girls have to take home science as one of their subject.
What does being in an Home Science class meant?
It meant that I have to learn about decorating a home, have to show my cooking expertise to my teachers, have to learn crochet and sewing too, in short, have to learn everything that a good girl/women should know in order to run a household. Phew!!!
It was the most difficult subject of mine at that time. But since I was too little to do anything on my own, I was sure that my Mother would aid me. Actually, I hoped that she would make all the stuff for me, and I will simply take all the credit. Silly me. 😦
My parents come from the value system where helping someone means aiding them in doing stuff not doing it for them. Now I can understand how it has helped me in making me what I am, Independent. But at that time, I was so disappointed just knowing that I have to hold the crochet hook in my own hands to complete my assignments.
My Mother introduced me to crochet and I made few patterns also. One lamp cover, handkerchiefs, and may be a television cover. I don’t remember exactly, was it a table cover or a television cover. I hated it. Hated it so much that I was happy to change my school next year, just because then I won’t have to attend home science classes any more.
I didn’t liked the classes but I liked the way all girls used to compete with each other. Showing their art and craft in the most stylish ways, sprinkling them with color bombs, adding every known and unknown glittering thing on their projects. Their food didn’t tasted good but it looked as it had directly came out of a master chef’s kitchen. The fattest teachers used to judge the food competition, and she used to look at the food as if it was a piece of art in an art gallery. I hated that particular teacher for that particular day only. Sometimes, I used to think that one day I’ll become a teacher so that I can splurge on all these tasty delicacies made by students. LOL. What life ambitions I had?
Now that all this is over I am happy to pick up my long lost hobby of Crocheting and I am enjoying it this time. Till now, I have made a baby cap and boots and one waffle stitch scarf.