Why is it that every Indian I encounter recalls memories of India so fondly?! I could go as far as saying recalls them with a kind of passion … the aggressive possessive kind of passion. I’m guilty of this too. Until I returned I used to argue with my husband (who I could swear is the only Indian born man I’ve met that shares practically no traits of any sort with most other Indians I’ve met!) that I wanted to go back to my fairy tale world in India. I wanted the loud laughs, the door bell ringing constantly, neighbors at the door step unannounced, athai, chithi, mami and everyone else showing up unannounced, kids running around all the time, a 10 liter pressure cooker always filled with food, a phone that never stopped ringing, house help shouting out loud for more instructions, tens of grandparents fighting over who’s turn it is to feed the kids … I remember growing up in a world so colorful and love filled that I’ve forgotten many of the horrible memories, the ones I only recall when in the middle of a fight with mom or dad.
I’m here now – more than a month has passed since I moved here. I have family here. I have family 5 hours away in my home town as well. I have friends everywhere in my home town. Well I thought I did. I wonder where they all are. I wonder what happened to everyone. This past Friday I promised my little girl that she would be visiting her cousins on Saturday. Saturday morning came and cousins had something else come up, they were gone! Then we promised her, her paternal grandparents would be visiting her on Sunday … something else had come up – they had a door that needed fixing, health issues .. in another 2 days they said. Then we promised her maternal grand dad would be coming in this week from Chennai, only to find out he’d fallen down at an airport in China the previous week (again!) and wasn’t going to take the trip up here. What about the aunt she’d visited a week back .. (mommy’s cousin) .. oh she is pregnant with morning sickness. Mommy’s and daddy’s friends?? Oh wait – in the middle of planning all this with family, we forgot to return calls from friends who had invited us so long ago (more than 2 weeks back) that they probably forgot about us completely. And it’s Sunday evening, I guess we can’t show up unannounced. Why don’t we call and see if it’s too late? “Call those guys, daddy” I yell out a suggestion to my husband, reading a book blissfully, as I write this post! “nope, not picking up the phone he responds”. Oh well – there are 15 kids still screaming outside in our apartment community .. playing happily. My baby girl’s gonna wake up .. she’ll run right out the door when she does. That’ll have to suffice! How come none of them are tired, old, busy or sick?
Suddenly everyone’s all grown up? My baby cousins are getting married and having kids, my aunts and uncles are getting older by the day .. sicker by the day, my in laws and parents too. My friends are different. It’s been a decade .. reconnecting is a long and hard process. Where are my fairy tale family & friends?
Maybe they’re all in Chennai, my home town. I am new here after all. And I’ve seen 3 cousins, 2 aunts and 1 new friend this week. Isn’t that way too much by US standards to begin with?! But that’s not the fairy tale I came here for – Maybe I’ll find them all there .. readily hanging around?! (MAYBE NOT – you delusional woman! Maybe not!)