Sunday, May 24, 2009

So where are you from?

Tough question! It's been asked a million times and the answer gets more confusing each time.

Once it was easier. When I had first moved to America, it usually meant ethnicity. Indian. South Asian. 

Later, it could be reduced to simpler attributions. Like the city you lived in: it was hipper to be from certain places than not. Like the US university you got your degrees from- some were obviously more elite than others.

Now, passport-turncoat that I am, its even tougher. Where am I -really, truly- from?

Is there a category called Non Resident American living in India? But does the mere change of insignia on a passport change me from an Indian to an American? Does a few years of swearing by Rachel and Jerry take away decades of awareness of myths and legends?

Of course, sometimes the answer sought is a lot more prosaic- like the region, state, city, or even street within India I was born in. Like that truly defines me, like journeys across the world fade away, and a certain essence remains. 

So where am I from?

I am the global nomad, the modern gypsy. Like a water plant with floating roots, the little tendrils guiding my graceful glide on shifting waters. 

I belong to the Best of this world. The Worst of the world does not belong to me.

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