Some people dream, some don’t and land on the faraway land. Since an early age, I have always dreamt of visiting the United States, it fascinated me big time. Years passed, I worked in a company that had its office in Maryland, USA. Before I could make it to the USA for work, a marriage proposal came. With what an odd chance as I was not very serious, things, however, did finalize, and after a year, came the time to tie the knot. My prince charming, not riding white horse though… flew in from the famous distant land. My dreams got the wings of the gigantic flights and I landed on the vast land of The United States of America. There was definitely a moment of a surprise seeing everything so organized. For starters, the cars being driven in miles/hour speed and maintained such good traffic rules. the parking lot topped the list of surprises. As a newly-wedded, life was fun and frolic. But as they say, there are two sides to the coin. Then came a time when I started missing big and small things which I rejoiced when I was in India.
1. The food lover. The food lover in me often reminisces about the taste and the aroma of the choicest of readily available delicacies back home. Now, when anyone of my friends or I visit India, one of the important things on our to-do list is munching our favorite food. In the US you get a variety of Indian food but the taste of the Indian food in India with the aroma all over is invincible. The variety of sweets of Kolkata and the chaat of Delhi is always talked about when we order any, in here.
2. The Indian festivals. Everywhere in the world, Indian Festivals are celebrated. But the fun of cheerful laughter in our known lanes with our friends and families have a different definition. Being a Bengali, I have always cherished and celebrated Durga Puja like the most happening thing in my life, but I got introduced to a new style of celebration in the US. Here all the festivals are mostly celebrated during the weekends. The Indian communities over here try to make it the best possible experience, but I am still a fan of the Puja Pandal, which used to be our jam session spot during Durga Puja. Oh, what fun! it used to be having some cash in the purse and roaming around like a boss. Attitude might be the same, but the thought process has changed so much. Now, Durga Puja is more like an occasion to remember our days back in India.
3. The Indian traditional wear shopping. Days were different when we would go to the bazaar and get the dresses we wanted. The blessing of technology has brought everything just a click away or rather as close as the doorbell. Shopping is so much fun and I do enjoy it here as well, but then, I miss the noise, the crowd, and the rush. I do most of my Indian traditional shopping once I visit India and fill my luggage with all the hues of my choicest Indian clothing. ‘Grande’ suitcases are laden with a couple of years worth load and brought to the so-called Now-Home and worn on every Indian festivities and other occasions with zeal.
4. The untimely arrival of guests. Growing up in a middle-class family is fun because you get to fight over the silly things, like not willing to sleep in the middle with sisters as some guests were offered your bed. And now, even for a casual meet at tea-time, literally a kind of meeting is set. No one comes unannounced, surprises are limited to birthdays only. The unscheduled afternoon gossip with neighbors and the onion fritters are only in our memories now. The technology has added to this nostalgia, with continuous updates in social media from friends in India, of the food that is relished. Maybe the things are most valued when it's scarcely found. Coming to the new land has given a lot of opportunities and exposure too, many avenues, but the unique things of back home are dearly missed.
5. No land can be as special as one’s motherland. The USA has been a favorite, the lifestyle, security, and sense of achievement I feel here is inexplicable. But for sure, there are millions of times when I miss being in India.
6. The relatives and friends. Having parents, siblings and relatives far away is a pinch to bear, voice and video calls aid us to keep in touch and diminish the distance. I have an elder sister and amazing friends to support through thick and thin, here in the US. I also use social networking sites to connect with my friends who are residing in different countries across the globe.
7. Two lands, one identity - Despite missing many wonderful things of my motherland, I feel necessary to mention some of the things that I could achieve because I landed in this foreign land. From being a professionally trained dancer to a coach/ mentor/ director, the journey has been amazing. I am so blessed to be in a place, where I have been able to establish myself. I believe everyone is a work-in-progress and so am I, but what purpose I could find, and what little knowledge I gained being here, has given me a scope of self-actualization. This place has given me the efficacy to better understand and fulfill my dreams.
God! I am thankful and very happy to be where and how I am exactly today. There can be no place perfect than this, as it is the chosen one for me. I have a purpose in life and find happiness in giving, by empowering lives and contributing as much as possible by supporting and guiding others to lead a successful fulfilling life.