"You'll find it very different.""Excuse me?""Once you have been here, India will be very different.""Different?""It won't be like this. Once you get used to this, it's so, so different.""I like it back home!" (stone faced)
This was the conversation that ensued after I told someone that I am an exchange student and that I have been here for 2 months and I am going back in a month (precisely a month actually). What kind of a conversation is that? He could have said he likes it here, he could have asked where I feel better, he could have. But how can he tell me I am not going to like my country? Because I have had a "life changing" experience staying here !? Duh!
Just to clarify. I did not have a life changing experience here. And I like my country. I like London too. But I like my country more. I know it has limitations. I know it has it's issues. But I like my country. And I don't think that everyone should like my country. But I like my country.
What a conversation to end my weekend!
Wait a minute!
My weekend started with Thursday and ended with Thursday.
I went shopping on Thursday with Ivo and got myself some warm clothes and warmer boots! Diwali shopping I would have said but no, it was just winter shopping, or preparing for the snow.
I took a weekend course if you remember and here is the second weekend of the course. The first weekend was during Dussera and the second during Diwali. Friday came and went like a breeze. I stayed over at a friend's place because 12 hours in the cold is not a good enough reason to come all the way home. Saturday was better cause after all the day of class, a couple of Indian girls from school, my roommate and I went to have an early dinner. We had some good food and good time. And back to work and studying. Sunday came and went by with the class. I dropped by at ISKCON again, alone this time. I attended the Bhajan and was having food when I realized I was not alone and a bunch of friends I went with for the first time had turned up. It was good.
Whenever I talk about the fact that I am going to ISKCON every Sunday, I talk about their good food. I agree it's good and really homely. I enjoy it every time I go. But no. I do not go there for the food. I am not a foodie. Never been. I go there because I like it. I like spending time there. I go there to connect to my culture in contemporary ways and to connect to the spirituality that is an integral part of my culture. It makes me feel I am among people who reconnect and feel connected to the sense of community I miss in this country! I go there to feel 'Indianess' as Nehru defined.
(And where should the above mentioned disappointing conversation happen but here, to enhance my disappointment)