I miss England. Part of it is being torn away from the work I loved so much but it’s not just that. I miss the streets, the trees, the buses, the people, the food, the drink, the music, the TV, the charity shops, the books, the thoughts, the fun. What’s more, I’ve developed a reluctant dislike for most of their Indian counterparts or lack of the same. I always used to look down upon people who had been to another country- most likely in Europe or America- and now constantly rambled on about how India didn’t have half the wondrous things that made life worth living. But now, I find myself doing the same more often than I can unashamedly admit. Well, I at least try not to say it out loud even if I’m thinking it. Because even though it’s not voluntary at all, I’m not sure if I’m right in feeling this way. I love India; I’m proud of India. But it’s like having two people inside my head, constantly arguing; both thinking the other a hypocrite for refusing to see what is obvious.
Do I not love my own country? Do I think it’s okay to be ungrateful to everyone and everything that helped me go and see England in the first place? Does India not have scientists and musicians who can blow your mind with their creations? Didn’t some of the best friendships of my life happen to me in India? Weren’t the british just a bunch of imperialist fuckheads who thought it alright to go to wherever they wanted and bully people into slavery? Aren’t people in both countries equally obnoxious when it comes to religion? Aren’t the politicians in both countries equally stupid? Equally incompetent? Equally missing the point? If nothing else, judging by my own example, can an Indian not share my notions, opinions and sensibilities? What right do I have then to feel so self-importantly different and un-understood?
Not all these questions are rhetorical. The fuckheads are in the past and so are many of the things and people that are behind everything valuable and awe-inspiring about my country; locked away in that same period of history if not in an older one. But again, that’s all quite beside the point. What it is, is not being able to find a place to belong or having found a voice you want to listen to and agree with, which not many around you can hear because it’s coming from so damn far away. And it’s a little about not knowing whether the film you are in is Donnie Darko or Dev D or Lost in Translation or The Motorcycle Diaries. As far as that last one goes, something tells me I’m not the only one.