Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Any place, but home!

When I was a little girl, occasionally I'd ask my parents, if we could eat out. When they asked me where, I'd say 'anywhere'. 'But where ?', they'd ask, and my response would be - 'anywhere but home!' In my little girl mind, home food was very boring. Never mind the fact that my mom is an excellent cook ...we all grow up on mom's cooking and swear by it!

As I grew older, I realized that there is no place like home. Never mind what happened elsewhere, I could come home and be myself. There were no pretences, no airs. I did not need to try to fit in; I just naturally did.

Some of us never grow up though.We just substitute the anyplace for foreign land and home for our country. Maybe it is the belief that being in a foreign land gives us extra respect at home (ever seen the pride of NRI parents?) . It is as if we cannot believe in ourselves until some foreign company or institute stamps approval. (even A.R. Rahman's stock has gone up since 'Jai ho'.)

The head line today screamed "Bashed up Indian eyes Singapore". The front page of The Times of India also carried a story of the same person victimised in Australia (earlier related posts -'wizards in oz' and 'race matters'). After telling his story, he goes on to say that he plans to move to Singapore or some such place. (Till there is some problem there, maybe) While I am all for globalization and free movement across borders, I just wonder why we do not think of staying in India. This was a big problem (brain drain) earlier, till the westerners themselves declared that India was the place to be. So today, it has become a little more respectable to stay on in this country. We needed their validation, before we could validate it ourselves.

To anyone who might wonder what I would do in such a scenario- I have studied abroad-never was a victim of racism though. ( I never did stick to only desi friends either) Even before I was ever a victim, I was back home ( nothing holy, just wanted to be more with my family-very selfish, I know!) I also realize that some cannot come back for very real and valid reasons (like having entire families there, marrying someone from there, or financial and medical constraints or maybe they just like it there). They are willing to take what comes their way and fight if needed (Kudos to them,) But why think of another place/another country, even before you come home to nurse your wounds ?

On the whole , I think we do not have any pride in being Indian and feel that we are missing out on something if we are here. Otherwise, shouldn't running home be your first thought (if you choose not to fight) when the big bully picks on you?

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