June 29, 2009

I was born in India, went to Elementary School in Texas, went to Middle School, and currently attend, High School in Georgia. When people ask me where I am from, what (or where) on earth do I say?! We hear of identity theft everyday. Well what if you don't have an identity to begin with?
Last summer, I was lucky enough to reacquaint myself with my past by going to visit family and friends in India. Finally I would have a chance to see if India was where I belonged. Eight years away from the land that was probably my home. Probably. Well I would find out soon, wouldn’t I? Although I was tingling all over with excitement, a part of me was, expectedly, anxious. How was I going to behave around everyone? As an indifferent vacationist with no care for new customs? As an enthusiastic culture-hungry interloper with a lively exposition that almost seems... fake? Bottom line: I was feeling like a foreigner. Did I belong to India, my birthplace or to America, the place of my upbringing?
When I got to India, things felt the same... yet different. Somewhere along the lines of a familiar stranger. I wanted to dive right into the people and wanted to immediately feel like I was a part of the crowd, but something inside me held me back. A part of me kept me inside myself no matter how much I wanted to let go and talk to my uncles, my aunts, my cousins, my grandparents, my old best friends, my old neighbors. Of course, I'm not one to immediately break the silence in a crowded room; I am somewhat of an introvert, but I speak my mind when I feel strongly about something. I was not uncomfortable in India but I could not make myself let go. I couldn’t change myself, in a sense, to enjoy what I didn’t feel like I could enjoy, but I saw India with open eyes and an open mind, and fell in love with the country I knew I had always been in love with. Days drifted away in the warm haze of a monsoon summer, and before I knew it, it was time to go back.
On the flight back, I had an interesting thought. We were waiting for the plane to take off and my mother had just gotten done with a long lecture about how she was going to make it a point to go back home as soon as she could. Home. Weren’t we on our way home already? I mean, we were on a plane heading back to America; wasn’t that home? I thought about that the entire flight and came to no conclusion. But I did make a few realizations about myself. One was the fact that I could not speak up even in India, as if that was new. The second was that even though I was in India, I could still keep my mindset and could still let people know what I liked and did not like without feeling like I had to apologize for who I was. I was about to conjure up a third theory when it hit me. The one thing that had not changed in the midst of the chaos of the shifting aspects of my life was me. I had stayed true to myself. I belonged to me. And wherever I could be myself was where I belonged. My home was inside of me.
The flight landed. The passengers were scrambling to get off of the plane. Chaos complimented the frazzled airhostesses with the thumps of the overhead baggage falling to the ground due to a bumpy flight. My mother started to get our things together. I just sat there watching everybody rush to get off the plane, into a taxi, and get back home. I was in no hurry. I was home.

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This article has 9 comments.

Camii GOLD said...
on Feb. 25 2011 at 10:21 am
Camii GOLD, Miami, Florida
10 articles 0 photos 75 comments
It is really good I love the conclusion you made about what your hojme was :)

musicnerd96 said...
on Sep. 8 2009 at 5:25 pm
Mona you are so brilliant. I am so glad I have a writing class with someone like Moners who writes well!

AranyaTampa said...
on Jul. 16 2009 at 5:05 pm
This was a stunning composition with great depth, vocab, and tone. The article really showed your feelings. Please make a follow-up on how this new concept of home affects the way you look at America as well as India. Great Job

on Jul. 16 2009 at 2:45 am
Wow! That was a great article! Written directly from the heart! You should write more. Writing is also a way to express yourself. You correctly realized that nationality is just one part of the identity of an individual. I liked the flow of the article, especially the ending was perfect! Good Job!

coolcucumber said...
on Jul. 13 2009 at 11:56 pm
Throughout the whole story I was hooked on the subject but I was sold on how well the writer's diction fit so well with her story and her message. Five stars.

FPG said...
on Jul. 13 2009 at 10:00 am
You have educated me with a completely different definition of 'home'. Thank you. Your pithy but deep article made me cry. Really a good job!!!

falcons360 said...
on Jul. 10 2009 at 2:18 am
very interesting, but i can understand where you are coming form. The main point is that you did not change. Extremely well written.The flow of the article was very good.

on Jul. 9 2009 at 7:21 pm
How profound for a teenager to realize that home, which really epitomizes peace, comfort and ensconce, lies deep in our soul, and emanates from our vision inwards! I love the writing style, especially the way the author builds up the scenarios and experiences before delivering the punch line of this short story. The story is deep, and is presented in such a crisp platter. Any immigrant's soul must be echoing the sweet and sour tribulations of this teen's heart, and all others like me can only remain dazed and wonder whether our ancestors also felt the same way when they came to this land long ago!

Sol123 said...
on Jul. 9 2009 at 3:48 pm
This is a well written article. The beginning--middle-end are well constructed. Good choice of vocabulary too. The beginning sets out an intrigue about the loss of identity. The middle takes the reader to a foreign land with captivating scenario. It ends with a great sentence "I was home.". I greatly encourage you to continue writing.

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