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Nagpur, India

December 22, 2012
I’ve just realized that, to me, “real India” means Nagpur, the city-scale village in which my mother was born. It may be because there is pretty much nothing to do here except be with family — and family is what I associate with India. Family, and dust that covers you 5 minutes after you bathe, and crowds, and continuous servings of milky sweet tea, and honking, and vegetarian Maharashtran food, and brightly colored fabrics, and concrete buildings with ancient plumbing, and bucket baths, and impromptu singing sessions, and doted-upon babies, and venerated elders, and Marathi, and impossible traffic of various vehicles and animals, and brushing teeth with bottled water, and flies, and mosquitoes, and vaguely familiar relatives asking if I remember them, and people breaking out the winter coats when it hits 70° F, and ridiculous Hindi films, and tiny cluttered shops, and cough-inducing rickshaw fumes, and Amul dairy, and Dinshaw’s Ice Cream, and chaat, and people who know sides of my parents that I’ve never known, and people with whom I should probably talk more instead of hanging back, shy, unable to make small-talk, overly concerned with how to conjugate Marathi verbs. To me, that’s India.

From → Legit Journal

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