I missed you all as much as you missed my posts. The reason I couldn’t post all these weeks was that my parents were in town. And when they are around, I am a different person. From wife and mother, I suddenly turn into a daughter. An obedient one! Other than parents, work, and daughters kept me busy. But midst all of this, I enjoyed last few weeks thoroughly.
Today’s post is about a realisation I had of late. During the last few weeks, I realized that I am liberated from the burden of keeping certain people happy. Whether they are neighbors, relatives, close family members or ex-colleagues. All these years, I was trying to fit in somewhere. Moving within the country and then moving out of the country, gave me an opportunity to mingle with people of other states and non-Indians. But it also influenced my perception of people back at home state.
When I moved to Delhi for study and work that’s the first time when I faced something called “discrimination”. The worse was that I didn’t even know it was discrimination. My college mates and later my colleagues ridiculed about my home state and I kept mum most of the times. It was as if I was giving them a silent approval of what they were saying. I kept quiet, partly because of the lack of knowledge I had about my state. I failed to let people know that Budha had chosen the land (Gaya) in my state to enlighten humankind. I didn’t let people know that Bihari food is one of the tastiest food we have in our country And I failed to let people know that unlike other developed states, girls are treated much better in Bihar, Jharkhand, Bengal, and Orissa. When a daughter is born in Bihar, she is not looked at, as a burden or disgrace to the family. At least not in the middle class. I am so proud of the family and state I was born in. Because I was treated with love and care. And was given all possible opportunities to realize my potential. Most of my batchmates from school are doing extremely well wherever they are and they may vouch for my growing up experience. Like mentioned before, the first time, I felt discrimination against women was when I moved to Delhi. But by then, my foundations were already strong and I was not ready to budge.
I lived in Delhi for 7 years and it brought me the sophistication required to climb up the ladder in a civilized society. I learnt that you can’t be upfront to people. You have to sugarcoat it before it comes out of the mouth. Money is everything. Think of money first and then about people. Lies are part of the day-to-day. You can’t get ahead without cheating other people. You have to push other people down in order to get ahead. I am not saying that people in my hometown state are saints. Probably some of the biggest scams have happened in my state but the qualities that I stated above were not part of my growing up years. People in my neighborhood helped each other, girls were safe, people were happy. I never felt the dissatisfaction of not having enough. Having said all of that, the polish that I got in Delhi helped me grow further. I met people from all walks of life. Delhi rile you in a way that it prepares you for any other challenges in the world. Still, Delhi is like second home and my first love.
I moved to a different country to study and work. I enjoy my life in Singapore. It’s safe place, embrace foreigners, people are awesome and Singapore laws keep you in check. All great. But then you meet with your countrymen in a foreign land. Before mingling and supporting each other, they have to ensure you are from their regions. Are you from North India or South? Are you Hindi speaking or not? What was your parents’ profession? How did you get here etc etc.? the questions never end unless they know your entire Kundli (Horoscope). If I have met you for the first time, I don’t need to know your economic and social status. I am not looking to build long term relationships.
Things haven’t changed for me in last ten years. When I meet with Indians, I still get same questions. And I wonder why, why do we ask such questions?!
I don’t care anymore. I feel liberated of the burden of somebody else. I can be myself and be proud of my achievements. I can use this position to help downtrodden. It doesn’t bother me what people think of me. If I have managed to make true friends in all these years, they will accept me as I am. I don’t need to change for anyone, to be with anyone. I don’t need to explain to anyone. Because people who care for you, don’t need explanations, and those who need explanation are not worth it.
So, thank you all, I am liberated!