Friday, April 24, 2015

What thrives within

Living in different places even for a couple of years, is enough for someone to learn what makes that place thrive, what the heart beat of each region is. 
I have lived in Mangalore, Bangalore and now living in Delhi.  I have been at different phases of my life when I lived in each city which helped me form myriad perceptions of these colourfully different places..

While in Mangalore Tulu, Kannada and consciously-spoken Konkani were distant and seemingly alien to me. I would speak them but not connect with them.
For me it was a town, not that I had lived in a city. but I knew that a city would have a dustier air to it.

Whenever people asked me where I belonged I would tell them I was from UP, to some others I would say I was born in Delhi, hence I am from Delhi.

When I came to Delhi, a little more than five years ago, was when I became a bit confused of my origin. Strangers asked me where I was from, coworkers sometimes joked about me being 'Madrasi'. I knew nothing of the northern Hinduism and till now had only some glimpses of the Islam I knew. I didn't understand the obsession with butter chicken or the hullablaoo over a masala dosa it vegetarionism on particular days.

The minute I heard someone talking in any of the south-Indian languages in a metro or bus, I would inadvertently align my ears to listen to them. I did miss 'home'.

Now, after I have spent a considerable amount of time as an adult in Delhi, I feel strange. The other day I forgot how to write a letter from the Kannada alphabet. I do still think a 100-rupee dosa is highly overpriced. My conversational Hindi has more traces of Delhi than of the Lucknowi Urdu I was thought as a kid. I continue to light up reading Kannada sign boards when I travel southwards but unconsicously always consider Urdu/Hindi more easy to speak in.

The idea of belonging to Mangalore, to Bangalore, to UP and to Delhi still thrives within. I will belong to places that have shaped me; their aromas emanating within me. 

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