I wrote this post in Dec 2015, so it’s taken me some time to find the courage to post it. At the time, I’d just landed and was feeling very, very lost. Perhaps things will be different if I spent more time there, or landed in our home city, Ahmedabad. Not quite sure. But I’ve promised you honesty, so here it is.
Going from one of the politest and cleanest countries in the world (Japan) to one of the rudest and dirtiest was perhaps not such an ideal idea. I’ve only just landed at Delhi airport and oh gosh, the feels.
Dear India, when did we fall out of love?
There used to be trips when I enjoyed you so much, but these past two trips have been met with a sense of dread. Originally, I had thought it was because Aru was in my belly. But now I’m not so sure.
Is it the men who seem to lurk and stare? They never felt particularly threatening before but since the Delhi incident, I fear being alone. I fear the stares and the gropes and any quiet corridor.
Or is it the people who assess you differently because of your handbag and the foreign accent? Money is the currency of value here. Relationship value as well. Crude and unfortunate.
Perhaps the filth? An all new low. The shock when I blow my nose. The magnetic dust that sticks and never lifts from my thoughts for more than a moment.
Or is the words people say that they don’t really mean. I’m finding the truth harder and harder to find.
Or is it my freedom. My inability to pack Aru into the back seat and drive off for the afternoon. To a clean park. Or a food place which won’t indispense him. Or just to a place where there is no traffic.
Underneath all of this, I truly, innately believe it is possible to find yourself happy anywhere in the world. You just need some friends.
So if you’re not interested in my accent or money (or lack thereof) or my mums Prada handbag, can we be friends?
Cause I would really like that.
PS – I’m nervous to share this. I have family I love in India – but I’m learning now – every woman needs a circle of her own. Maybe it’s just landing frustration, maybe it’s the stark contrast. But this place of womanhood is for all the feels, not just the safe ones.