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By: Vandana Venkataraman
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Hi all you desi?s out there! Well if you have been outside India for more than a few months you know what that term means, especially if you have been in the U.S. Don?t get me wrong, desi?s are in almost all places, but we mostly refer to ourselves as desi?s if we are in the U.S. I have been in Nairobi (Kenya, Africa) and trust me that place is filled with Indians, but I have never heard the word desi used this often.

Anyways, since I was born I have been in India for only about six to seven years. I still am very ?desi? in all my attributes and I thank my parents for that. What I am trying to say here is that, I miss India even though I spent such a short time there. I can imagine how it is for those of you who were born there.

It has been almost four to five years since I have been to India. I miss my grandparents most and then come the rest, buying peanuts from the roadside vendor, running to catch the public bus, so as to not get late for school, and mostly for the Indian citizen a home, we don?t have to constantly worry about being kicked out of the country for not maintaining the proper status.

There might be a lot of Indian stores around, but it?s never like home. The Bhel Puri, sev puri and many other delicacies will never taste the same. At least not like Juhu beach in Mumbai or Pattani Sundal (channa Chat) on Chennai?s beaches.

All said and done, desi?s will be desi?s where ever we go. How much ever we try to live like Roman?s in Rome. Well that has it?s own consequences. We try our best to bargain and pull those prices as low as possible, especially at Indian stores. Can they blame us for feeling at home? Where else would we go? We can?t do that at the local stores? We crave for that desi feel and take our chances wherever we can. So we can be cheap, avoid each other in public (unless we have use for the other) and be highly artificial, but we are desis.

We still aren?t all bad; we respect our Mother Land, even though we are immigrants. This might not include some of the generation that is born outside. That?s because they don?t understand or know the enchantment our land holds. As a generation of immigrants it is up to us to remind them where they are from. Of course, they are the ones who choose in the end, but it?s up to us to make an impression. They are as foreign to our land as we are here.

Well we might be here working seventy to eighty hours a week, while folks back home think we live in paradise. We still look for a desi feel in every corner and hopefully don?t miss the chance to soak in nostalgia. Opps!!! DESIALGIA


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