Vanakkam. En Peru Mowgli, enakku innoru peru irukku, paradesi
I guess here after I would not be telling that I would be regular in writing this. I will write as I feel and might be finish it towards where I want, hopefully!
I started this episode months ago. But I wrote only the above line. After that I never came back to write it, never even thought I should be continuing it. I have started to write many things still now and I guess I have not completed even one, except for the short ones, which usually I end up throwing away here and there.
How have you defined this word paradesi? What comes to hearing this word which means nomad? Have anyone thought about connection with this word? Is it only I feel connection is the meaning that is there and still missing in this word paradesi?
If someone asks me who is my favorite hero, colour, place, food, I might tell something. After that when I think on it, which I do most of the time, I know it is not the only food, place, colour or hero that I like/like/will like. It is just at that point of time I had liked and experienced something nice so that am able to relate to them. I guess that is the reason I have nothing that I tell I miss. Being in a foreign land does not make me feel as if am a foreigner, being in my own land does not make me feel like an owner.
I had this long trip once. Every time when we were on road my friend would be missing something from his home, from his town, and would want to get back there soon. He has told me how it feels to be in one’s own land and the strength it gives you. When he asked me why I am there on that trip, I really dint have an answer that would satisfy him, I just told ‘I was curious about people and other lands. I just wanted to travel to see and find them all’. Why? ‘I don’t know’.
Another time I had this conversation with one of my other friend who told how important identity is for a person and how we should fight for it like tamil people in srilanka did or kashmiri’s do. I was not able to buy the argument. When you hold your identity so close and don’t respect other’s back ground, how will that give peace? This does not mean, don’t fight for your identity, which people can think easily. Those are the identities that worldly things give you and it is different and that are given to keep you fighting with each other, this would eventually benefit. Holding on to something makes you possessive of it and makes you feel insecure of it, which in turn makes you protect it so much that, you start to ruin others and they would rebel for it after a certain point. This is the same thing that has been happening everywhere.
Just because am born in Australia gives me an identity as an Australian with an Australian passport. Good. When I go to England, should I boast as Australian and think those people are not equal?
Today my post will be having too many questions. That is how I am getting back to the point where I was travelling to already. Nothing has changed it, just the approach which alters to give the dimension to explore myself.
I remember very well, during my sixth semester exam holidays, I was staying inside my house and didn’t go out for 10 days for anything. My friends used to go out for essentials, I used to cook, read, watch movie and just have fun. I never missed the world that was outside those walls. My friends forced me to get out. They stopped buying the grocery and pushed me out forcefully on the eleventh day. For them being out with the world would make me normal they told. I dint feel any difference. Eleventh day dint make me feel the 10 days of gap.
I left this job and joined back after two years and came to the same office after three years, standing on the same conference room, I dint feel the 3 years pass, all was exactly same, every single thing; I dint even feel like I went on a vacation and came back.
Now I will go continue tomorrow what I left a year back and even then I will not feel anything, which is what I can feel with all the experience that I have from my past.
All these things do not mean am not connected with things I do. I give my best for what I do. I love people around me. They all love me. My grandfather who tells me to make sure I work hard for next 20 years so I earn money for my next few hundred generation, he has done that and is sitting in his big home with his wife all alone on a Diwali morning without his sons all giving a call to wish him; my friend who tells me to live every second and be true to myself; my girl who just wanted me out of her life for a reason that am still waiting to know; my family who feels that making money is the only way of living life, because we have never had money or anything else told other than that; my another friend who hates me for living life on my own terms; my girl who can’t let me go even if I ogle behind other girls; each and every one of them, including you who are reading this now. The way they show their love is their own way, the way they have experienced it. I just receive it in my own that I can. I feel pity and scold my grandfather; I laugh with my friend; I cry for that girl; I care but never stay in touch with my family; I miss her; and you all to whom I talk these things as if these are my last words.
I remember a cricket match that I played. This one match stood in my heart very strongly and I remember literally everything that happened. After a usual day of college we were playing cricket, I was a team’s captain and had a very strong hitter on my side. We bowled first and gave away too many runs. Required run rate was 12 for 10 overs. When we started chasing we lost initial openers and the top order in 3 overs. I joined to play with that hitter. He is a massive hitter; he can hit huge shots continuously. I wanted to win the game, at any cost, so I was trying to give him rotation but at the same time trying to push to get the singles which would help the score going. By the time we reached 7th over the hitter was tired of running. He is not a person who can run. Once his energy went down, his shots were not massive, his confidence also came down. I was having a good stamina to keep running between wickets. By 8th over he got out trying to hit a nervous shot. We lost the game. In the end of the game he told me how I made him run too much and he lost his energy to hit.
That incident stuck to me. I was not able to pardon myself for not seeing others the way they were. I dint see the pros and cons. I was seeing the world as I was. This is just one incident, I have so many that shows were I always thought the world is like me, but the reality is otherwise. Seeing the world as it is was one thing that am still trying to master at. We all have a colored glass in front of our eyes, and we all think the world is in that color.
This all does not mean am not connected to anything, it is just that nothing bonds me so much for some reason. I let go things easily and also don’t let go their memories. I have no options. Any option is fine for me, I will survive. I make my own dreams of them. Last night I had a dream of my college mates whom I have not met after my college, and I saw them in my own way. It also does not mean I do not have an ideology. Now this is where the going gets tougher. You do not have any preferred option and still you have ideas and ideologies.
That is the reason I have still not felt a single place that makes me feel as home. I have felt warmth everywhere and I just keep travelling with it. People scold me that am living a life of a paradesi. I should get married, I should have children, I should settle. I don’t know anything about it, life has been wonderful to me, it has shown me edge of death and edge of life, I am walking, and it doesn’t make me feel like a stranger anywhere or with anyone.
Like the old saying goes ‘yaathum oore yaavarum keleer’ (everywhere is my native and everyone is my relation), the paradesi’s life will be same till the end. Home is a big nest that is rotating itself around the biggest star in this galaxy, and it has shown me colors that otherwise I would not have seen.
Paradesi will be paradesi to write paradesi stories that you might be bound to read or not in your colored glass that is in front of your eyes.
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