Thursday, July 16, 2009

thoughts about india: one

When you return from a trip, people ask: “How was your trip?” You answer: “Great,” or (but hopefully not), “Terrible,” or whatever other simple statement you can make to summarize your vacation. I have been asked this very question over and over since returning home. While my response is always, "Great,” I haven’t figured out how to tell the truth, or even what the truth is.

I have fantasized about going to India for – ever, but also, I have dreaded it on some level. Maybe I wouldn’t be Indian enough. Maybe I wouldn’t like my own family. Maybe they wouldn't like me. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

I did not hate India. I did not love India. I felt awed by India, by its good and bad, and I just tried to take it in to the best of my ability. A friend asked if I had an awakening moment when I felt like I had somehow returned to my roots. I told her this: The closest to an awakening of this sort occurred when I met relatives, when I saw cities my parents had lived in, when I experienced day-to-day life in India. During some of these instances, much to my own surprise, I could hear the voice in my head remarking, "Oh. My parents make so much sense to me now." Prior to these tiny and unexpected moments, I did not know that they had not made sense to me.

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