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This blog is named after one of my poems. Even thought its not the best of the lot, I just fell in love with those words- The Psyche Unknown...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Returning Home-2

Continuing my vacation...

I had grossly underestimated the Euro-Rupee conversion rate. I thought I could live like a queen spending lavishly on things I didn't need with one month's living expense abroad. I was served grandly in the face right from the cab that I took from the airport to the last day when I bought milk burphies for Re.1 that once used to cost 25 paise. I had a row with the auto driver when I saw Rs. 17 on the meter and accused him of not re-setting it before starting only to be told the minimum had gone up! A 500g packet of rusks now cost Rs 35 which once used to be Rs.20 with better taste. Street food like chats that was Rs.8 when I left, is now Rs.15 and every time I heard the price, I stared at the vendor like I stared at the immigration officer only to evoke “Elladardu rate jaasti aagide Medam” template response. (“All prices have gone up Madam”). And need I talk about petrol and entertainment? Pretty much had to borrow a lot from home by the end. I had no clue about it. "Its alright dear..Its alright.."..The old man was warming up to my condition..


Of course I was eager to prove all of it otherwise and had some screw-ups there too! 22-25 degrees seemed warm and Salwars never were more comfortable before! Lots of surprising reactions..especially when I spoke Kannada. Contrary to what my tag suggested, I had my skills intact, infact improved if I may say. Being in a foreign country makes you realize how cool your own language is! Annoyed when people tried to switch to English, I still responded in Kannada and there were a few smiles and few frowns. It had skipped my mind that English was the official language in Bangalore given the number of in house “immigrants” without tags! The lady in the mall sniggered like I had come from a village when I started conversing in Kannada. Another row with a random techie-who-doesn't-belong-to-Bangalore-and-yet-complained-about-my-city. He just had chosen the wrong co-commuter to spill his woes.

A heartfelt suggestion that applies to all including me- If you don't like a new city, finish your job and get out of it quickly, Don't stay and whine about it in the aboriginal's ears.

I had also forgotten that by-two cup coffee was only allowed in the smallest of hotels and ended up asking for it at a place, lets say, its never been asked before and will never be in future. I had missed it all along and hence followed my starved instincts; not thinking twice that it was cold coffee that I was ordering.. "You actually asked for it!" said a scandalized friend while the rest of the group chortled. It brought me back to the reality from the past. 
By-two's are probably the best thing in Indian food culture. Saves money, gets you more quantity and actually just sharing it with someone else feels great. And the pseudo prestige that the current restaurants/outlets want to achieve by going all western is a big disappointment. Its not like people don't want to have by-two's anymore. They are just afraid of "not meeting the standards" of the place they have chosen to dine! They needn't serve everything by-two but when asked for it, the waiter can split it up rather than mocking the customer with a giggle and that can happen only when people can learn to express what they want in the out.

By this time the ghost of the officer had nothing to say.. He had almost faded seeing that he wasn't entirely right sticking the label on me.. Hope he had realized that the girl could travel beyond the extensions of her roots but she'd always carry them with her..


So many changes.. so many surprises...May be this was what Luke meant by asking if I was ready.. No Luke, I wasn't.. Guess you had known these things yourself before..
I had realized something else- they don't brand one as a NRI for no reason. But saying so doesn't belittle the 'I' any more. If anything, its made me wanna shed the label for good. And time will come for that too. Until then I will just have to accept the changes and learn to live with it.
Oh there is just one thing that hasn't changed in India- The soap operas that granny watches faithfully all day, every day. They still wear the same annoying make-up/costumes, every actor still cries irksomely through out their screen time and as expected the plot isn't going anywhere.......Glad to know some things don't change.....


By the end of the vacation, I was thinking of Holland and although I would miss every little thing of my city, it felt like going home too. May be a second home. For whatever short period of time it is, you still have a house and a daily routine to take care of. You buy groceries there, cook, struggle to live your dream and rest on your pillow at the end of the day. That's why they call it a RP.


Landed back in Europe in utter darkness. But the good thing was I could see my man, Orion shining as brightly as he did back in India. Also,Sirius, utterly luminous, was telling “Yeah this time I'm gonna be around you...And everything is gonna be okay...” Have a feeling he might hold his word......
The immigration officer in Germany asked me my purpose of visit too but then she saw the pink RP and said with a smile “Ah! OK, I absolutely don't have any questions for you.” It was home....another one with a stamp alright....




Anonymous said...

Isn't it strange that only after you go back to India from a foreign land do you start to realize that the foreign land is now home as well? :)

aeroyogi said...

Yes..Strange but just animal nature I guess.. You just get used to the surroundings and keeping the past alive or forgetting it is upto every individual.. :)

Ann said...

u made my evening tea worthwhile!

guess at the end of the day.. the place one looks forward, to get back to.. is home.. home country or not!

on the brighter side! uve got 2 homes now! :P wel sort of :D

an absolutely delightful post... :)keep em coming :)

cheers :)

aeroyogi said...

Thanks Ann...:) You should visit my home once ;)