Born in Pune, brought up all over India, and currently living in Chennai, I am one of those who has been fortunate or should I say unfortunate enough, to experience all the rich cultures of my country. (My heart pains when saying my country, because, most of the people here don’t know that I and most of my Northeast counterparts, are Indian)
Wherever I’ve gone, though in different parts of the country, I always found people from my state to befriend and even when befriending people from other states, it never felt odd.
But, Tamil Nadu is one state where you feel like you’re in a different country altogether. More than half the population are not too familiar with the prime language, Hindi and the state is filled with people from the more, cultural and traditional sides of the planet.
When travelling with a group of my colleagues recently for a four day trip, (which became a five day trip because our car broke down), amidst the bubbles of joy and excitement, I felt homesick. Listening to songs I couldn’t make a thing out of, which everyone else was singing along to, not understanding most of the hearty conversations and trying to take out the English words and figure out what is going on, I missed my home state.
But, like every other situation, there were two sides to handle it. I could stay glum and grumble throughout, being aloof and sticking to my phone as much as I can. Or, I could enjoy it! How? In the car, I could enjoy the music and hearing my friends sing at the top of their voices, during conversations, one can always keep a tab on what’s going on if you find a friend kind enough to translate parts of it, which I did! Well, I also tried to learn some new words in the language…which im still working on :)
And, I could observe and respect the fact that each place comes with their way of conversing, living and traditions. I could dwell in the advantage of being able to observe and learn of different people in different parts of the country. I could see the bigger picture and remember that everyone is my fellow Indian and feel at home coz’ its my country too.
Are you in a different side of the country? What is your decision, to learn or to leave!