I belong to that section of this world, which moves from the surroundings they were born in, to distant places either for pleasure, experience, and money or for advancement of something, yet to be defined. During this move, we leave a lot behind – parents, home, family, culture, food… the list is endless. It is like uprooting a live tree and re-planting it in new soil, with the hope that its roots will attach just like it had, it will get sunshine and water, just like it used to, and it will grow with no difference. It will grow no doubt, but in an alien land, inhabited by people just like us, but who seem to belong to a different world.
Work permits, resident status, L1, H1, B1, Green card, and Citizenship will make the other side of the world accessible to you, but will it accept you? Will you be able to become a part of them? Or, will you always be made to feel that you are on alien grounds?
The proximity of acceptance from the other end depends on how much you are able to give up and adapt to their ways of life. This is one perspective. How much you can leave behind of what you were taught in your growing years, like all your other people and belongings. The sacrifice could encompass values, attitude, behavior, culture, rituals, food and a host of other things. But even after sacrificing everything and trying to be one of them, how close can you get to actually being one of them.
From another dimension, you could try to establish your roots firmly in the new soil, without any sacrifices, upholding every little thing that was dear to you back home. It is definitely no way to become one of them, but the diversity could earn their respect and classify you as a dignified stratum of Indian society on alien land.
After treading for six years on alien soil, the acceptance is much more important now to me, because of my children. I leave them at 8 in the morning, at school, at daycare, and the next time I see them is after a whole nine or ten hours. The thought that comes instantly to my mind is, are they struggling to be a part of this circus, that I have pushed them into, without their consent. Are they waiting for acceptance? Being born in the country, has naturally given them citizenship rights, but because they are born to Indian parents, would they still struggle to bridge that little gap?
Do I want them to learn to bridge the gap, or take them away to lands that are familiar to me, not so quite to them? They will be accepted no doubt, but this time around, will they be able to accept?
Would it have been better if I had not created all this confusion in the first place, if I had not pulled out the roots? But then wouldn’t I have lost the chance of seeing this part of the world in this only once lifetime? Life is again playing its game and me merely a pawn.