Who we are cannot be separated from where we are from

Thoughts from a trip back home

Its weird how living away from your country — even for a few years — gives you a perspective about where your long held beliefs, notions and behavioral traits stem from. In the US, where I live and work for the past 6 years my belief systems and thoughts are under constant churn. Overtime, this churn results in fresh beliefs, ideas and behavioral traits, but a quick trip to the motherland brings out the real you, from deep within layers of acquired cultural traits.

I’ve been vacationing in India after a long time and I can see how my basic instincts and thought processes were shaped by this country.

There is sense of urgency around everything when you talk to people here, the unwritten rule of never taking anything for granted — be it trusting people to drive rationally or expecting predictable behavior. I was quickly reminded of the fact that there is nothing predictable about India, and THAT prepares regular Indians for infinite eventualities.

India is about being comfortable with risks, living with a darwinian sense of survival. Fighting hard for every inch of personal (or physical) space and being calm despite the tempest. Oh, and the realization that you are entitled to nothing. You have to fight.

India is also about treading cautiously when trusting people in the first go, something Indians learn growing up. But then India is also about why you can trust people blindly, about unconditional love and big family trees, about nosy relatives and the expectations thereof.

When you live in a different country for a while, the realities of where you grew up give way to where you now live. But in reality who we are cannot be separated from where we come from. I am glad it is that way.

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