Stepping out of the train, she cupped her hands over her bleary eyes, immediately blinded by a relentless Indian sun. The air was heavy with history, and she felt the dust of this long forgotten land coat her skin, working its way into her lungs as she breathed in the air of her ancestors. She blinked slowly as she looked around, feeling overwhelmed by the flat yellow land that extended in every direction, the swarms of dark bodies moving swiftly in the August heat, small houses and shops protruding haphazardly from the earth in a mess of line and color. She marveled at the sunlight, how it filtered through the sky and trickled onto the land as if through a dirty attic window, golden rays filled with enchantment.
She was surrounded by bodies; people moving around her as she stood, rooted to the ground, in her American made shoes, sweat glistening on her American grown skin, American thoughts running through her brain in an American language. She looked at the people around her as they passed, struck by how familiar these strangers looked. She saw pieces of herself everywhere, recognizing herself reflected back in the dark gold of their eyes, the black waves of their hair, the graceful length of their limbs. And yet she was alone, an anomaly in the well woven fabric of a society that she, that her family, had abandoned years ago. A cliche, searching for identity and familiarity in a land that she no longer belonged to, perhaps had never truly belonged to.
Suddenly, she was overtaken by confusion and felt, quite predictably, like crying. But just as her eyes began to fill with tears, her vision blurring softly at the edges, there came a soft breeze breaking its way through the still and burning air. It lifted her hair from her shoulders, causing it to sway gently in her face. And as it passed by her ears, it whispered three unmistakable words in a language that was all her own: “You are home; you are home; you are home.”
Five things you need to know about my 9-year-old self (according to my dear diary from 1999):
- Favorite food: chicken patty with only ketchup and never mustard because mustard is gross
- Favorite color: purple like my purple rugrats shorts
- Favorite shoes: invisible
- Favorite hobby: laying in my room and pretending to be grown up and when my mom comes in pretending I am cleaning
- Favorite memory: acting like a crocodile and scaring my little cousin
What ever happened to those Rugrats shorts?