So, I'm back after a crazy, humid, summer 'break ' from India. It was awful. What global warming, pollution, 'paan' and a complete lack of hygiene and social responsibilities has done to the sublime beauty of India is unimaginable.It breaks my heart to think that this is my homeland... Yes, because I am an NRI, you might say that I've no right to criticize India.... but believe me you - If I'd be living there, I'd have definitely been doing something about it.... I'd even become one of the pain in the @$$ social workers cleaning up India for free shouting slogans and reprimanding public urinators...I don't understand how the super powers of the world can see India as a future power to reckon with... with the fetid smells and pestilence plaguing it still....Yes - out of this breeding ground of exotic parasites, come out our doctors and engineers - only to run out and join the West or the Middle east.....And what of the educated class of India? Where is your pride? I'm not saying that it should be clean and smelling fresh when the NRI's visit in June, July and August...lol...but please - do something about the hygiene!!! for the sake of our kids!!We want to protect our future - our children, not turn them into high resistance mutants.Why does it have to take a Munna bhai or an Amir Khan to resurrect our pride?
I went there with my husband and 10 month old son and stayed at my in - laws. A couple of days later, my baby became ill. The sudden change of weather, food, environment and people took it's toll. I think I met more doctors than relatives during my stay there. I was too overwhelmed by the negativity to even notice the few good things that still exist there.
A long drive at midnight with my son peacefully asleep in my lap took me back down memory lane to my Grand's ancestral house...I was back to being 5 years old and being the center of attention for all my aunts, and older people...A memory of me plucking bright pink blossoms of the willow tree and it's extremely sweet smell hit me as I remembered stringing them together making little garlands for my aunts... I remembered the little puppy I found trapped inside the fence around an old gulmohar tree, and how I'd rescued it, taken it home and given it a bath and some leftover bones to eat....I remembered how clean everything used to be... and how taking a deep breath wouldn't burn my respiratory tract...I remember crawling around the grass in the park after a heavy monsoon rain, looking for 'birbabottis' (red velvet beetles) with my little brother who is the Gerald Durrell of our family. I miss waking up at 5:30 in the morning and dashing up the stairs to the terrace to watch the Brahman lady opposite our home come out with wet hair and make a rangoli with white rice powder on the front doorstep in the speed of lightening... and then I'd go back to bed with a smile on my face after having viewed a very basic and beautiful form of Art. Eating Mangoes to my fill, until the sugar got to my head and made me woozy is something I can now feel only in memories. And what I miss the most is the rains... oh dear Lord.. the smell of wet earth seductively caressing my senses is a high I miss being on. The soft, fragrant breeze drifting in after a heavy shower enveloping all senses, making me one with it, is now just a memory that I conjure up on unbearably hot, dry and stifling summer breaks in India..... I miss being carefree and blissfully oblivious to anything bad around... because there never was anything bad...
I miss you India....I miss your beauty.... your unpolluted spirit.
I come back into your arms every year eagerly anticipating the feeling of being home... like the embrace of a mother...but now it has started to feel alien.
But no matter what. A mother is a mother...never mind the distance or state (pun intended).
This work by Ambereena Razvi is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.