I am going to India. It is going to be from the first of June to the twenty-third of June. I am so excited! It has been two whole years since the last time I saw my family, and I know it is going to be amazing.
It is strange how much things have changed. Well, not strange because of the time span involved, but still strange. Since the last time I met my family, so much has happened. I see my self of two years ago, and I marvel at what has changed and what has not.
My elder cousin, who is but thirty-two days older than me, is going to be in college (in India, college starts after tenth grade. You go there for two years and then enter a university). She wants to be a dentist. My younger cousin is turning eleven. When my mom went out and got clothes for him, those clothes looked more and more like what my friends wear, and less and less “little-kid-ish”.
I am very excited about going back because I am going to get to see Delhi and Agra for the first time in my life! It is going to be very hot, but I am still so happy. I cannot wait to see the Red Fort and the Taj Mahal and everything!
I am also going to be seeing my mom’s hometown, Surat. I visited my dad’s hometown, Balasinor (realllly small place), six years ago (I think). Balasinor was . . . interesting. It was, as I said, small, and very hot when we went there. It was cool to see where my grandfather was from, though. Surat is a completely different place. It is very large and one of the cleanest cities in India. I will only be there for maybe two days, but I am really looking forward to it. An interesting point is that the accent from Surat and the surrounding areas is very different. Surtis replace “s”s with “h”s. Surat becomes “Hurat”, etc. My mom will do the accent for me sometimes. :)
One of the main reasons I am so excited to go is that I miss it. I mean, I pretty much hate it half the time I am there (the heat, the humidity, the dirtiness of the place, etc.), but I still love India. Sometimes, even more than America. I mean, I was born here, but I am not just American. I am actually a very patriotic person when it comes to India. I may not like the food very much, or some of the movies, or the religion, or the hip-hop rip-off pop music, but (for seemingly no rational reasons) I have one of those inexplicable connections. I love the language(s), the art, just the essence of what it is to be Indian.
So I pretty much love the movie Swades. It means, “motherland”. The guy in it, played by Shah Rukh Khan (i.e., pretty much the biggest Bollywood star ever–except for Amitabh), lives in the USA, but goes back to India to visit his old, dying nanny or whatever. In the process, he reconnects with India and ends up . . . well nevermind. Anyway, the best song from the movie is “Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera” (This Country of Yours). It is absolutely beautiful (English subtitles included in the linked video). One of the best Bollywood movies in the past ten years, hands down.