Passage to India This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

July 7, 2010
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Last summer, my father successfully pushed me into visiting his childhood village, a small town near Calcutta, India. I was reluctant to go, unsure of the hardships I would face; my mother said there would be no toilet paper or fans in the hot, humid weather.

Though my father moved to America after college, he still has a soft Indian accent that reminds us all of our roots in the rich soil on which I would soon be treading. As a grown man, he left his country, the birthplace of his youthful dreams, where he would have flourished just as his ancestors had for generations. But he ventured out like so many emigrants, searching beyond the barriers of India, and settled here in America.

In some ways, I know America better than my dad – whether it is the band playing on the radio or the names of the 50 states. But here in his home, I felt for once as if our relationship had been righted, as if the void I felt between my dad and me, his culture and my culture, was finally closing.

I saw my father everywhere I went. I explored his childhood playground, the small village with the pink and blue houses scattered among jade paddy fields. I saw his quiet confidence in the proud and glossy banana leaves that glowed in the dim morning light, softly complementing the atmosphere. The murky pond was filled with glorious gold and orange koi, which flickered every so often and reminded me of my father's spirit even with his serious demeanor. Through these simple images, I realized that his true colors were reflected in the beauty of his village, bridging a gap that we had maneuvered around our entire lives.

By visiting his village, I saw the child in him rejoice with the child in me, uniting our differences and closing the generation gap. In the simplicity of his true home, I understood who my father really was. I was allowed to live in that moment and experience a small, sweet part of my father.

I believe that even though our generations differ in many ways, when we choose to live in that precious moment, we are alike in more ways than we are different.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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musiqqlvr31 said...
Jan. 24, 2011 at 6:19 am
Wow! I live in India. From Kerala. I love visiting villages though i havent really been to any. I think its wonderful and good writing!
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