Monday, May 24, 2010

Crying etc.

Thank you Linda for visiting my blog. I started writing reply to Linda's comment about she crying every time when leaving India and it turned out to be so long that I made it into a new post.
I don't know about why I do not cry. I do not cry at the times when everyone cries. But my eyes are filled with tears at seemingly trivial things. Its not the big things but the little things that get to me :(
I remember the first death in the family. My paternal grand father passed away when I was in 12th grade. For the first time, I saw a dead person laying in front of me. A person I loved and deeply cared about. But there were no tears at all. I think there just was a lot of curiosity about the rituals, observing people who came to meet my grieving grandmother, things they said, my uncle shaving his head, my father choosing NOT to do that(which I was relieved about), seeing my father all sad and depressed for the first time. I even tried to force some tears out thinking that I ought to cry a little .
I remember all these little things surrounding the first death I closely witnessed but I do not recall tears at all. It happened on 6th of September, a day before my birthday. I knew there was not going to be any celebration and was not even expecting anyone to wish me the next day. But next morning while I was playing in the garden in front of my grand parents' house amongst trees with my cousins and my father came up to me and wished me happy birthday. I clearly remember the lump in the throat I felt at that moment. I feel the same lump right now as I type this.

Another time when my mother and my grand mother were bargaining with a hawker who was selling papaya in the street on a hot afternoon. I urged them not to haggle with the poor fellow but they wouldn't listen to me. I was so mad at them that I cried a river. Finally they got the papaya for the price they wanted. Both the ladies happily told me that if he did not afford to sell it at that price he would not have done it. I said to them that the papaya may be rotten from inside. And it was rotten. I smilingly turned to them and said "told you so!".

yet another occasion at which I let the flood gates open was my cousin sisters wedding. I may have been in 8th or 9th grade. After the wedding when she was all set to leave with her husbands' family, my aunt and uncle started crying parting with their daughter. Seeing them cry I started crying too. Now thinking back about it, I feel that it was super silly considering that my I wasn't even very emotionally close to my cousin nor did we spend a whole lot of time together. Me crying back then must have been a sheer show off.

May be I leave India from my in-laws place could be a reason that I do not cry leaving :) And they are very nice and loving people. But my heart is certainly heavy leaving my parents house.
India has changed so much since I came here. The India in my mind is frozen in 1998. It did not have the western influences so clearly visible in the forms of McDs, KFCs, Subways etc. it is annoying to see those places there. I hate it when friends offer to take the kids to MacDonalds. Their intention is sweet and they think they are doing something really cool for my kids but it is hard to say NO which I end up doing anyway and hur their feelings. I do not want to go to Pizza Hut when I go to eat out and people think I must be crazy to say no to that. I try to explain and get so upset over these things. Such little things add up and make me uneasy and restless. At the end of 6-7 weeks so many emotional things pile on top of each other, I am ready to come back. I even start thinking that there is a reason I live so far away from my homeland. May be I am supposed to preserve my heritage in this adopted land.
There is this constant tug of war going inside. Trying to soak the best from both the cultures and blending it in and passing it on to my kids. I am aware that its just what every first generation immigrant goes through.
I just need to take a few deep breaths right now and be ready for anything and everything.
I apologize for writing such big comment on your comment about crying. I admit it's very scattered and disjoint with respect your comment. Just try and understand that it is an outpouring of thoughts as they came to my mind.