I told him, ‘I am incredibly happy to return to Nancy’ and then he asked ‘was it so bad?’. That question stuck in my head, ‘ was that really bad?’ That was the place I was born and lived for 24 years. And I wanted to unwind everything I experienced to conclude what was the exact reason that I found hard to get deep sleep with an assistance of sleeping pills magic.
As I am living away from my parents for so long, there was an oblivious expectation that they will be interested in my life , what I eat, what I like and dislike, who and how are my friends etc..But I had bad initial signal already as they were very passive about my arrival, and they didn’t seem to be bothered about receiving me at airport. Anyways, I arrived to the hometown after exhausting journey of almost 40 hours. I found incredibly hard to talk with my own parents, I tried hundreds of topics as politics, weather, cinema, music , cultural differences between west and east, my life in France… my brain got so busy just to look for topics and have a common ground between me and my own parents. After long trail and failure, I found their world encapsulates the elements which deals wit my brother’s life and mandate things, I had to stick with only these area, where I had almost nothing to speak. Overall, slight disappointment and having feeling of “disconnected” from my parents made my India visit bit sad.
The day of big festival was near. We, family of five got busy in preparations. The idea of celebrating a festival by working harder than normal day was not acceptable to me, but your opinion hardly matters. And that was the one of the reason to feel as foreigner in own country. People do things because they have been doing the same for generations without asking questions. That includes eating habits, being religious, institution of marriage, rituals like bhaubeej, javaipan, dressing, gestures, hospitality rules and so on.. etc… I disagree with number of things as I don’t find any logic behind those things, e.g. Man never works in kitchen or rarely helps in house work, if you have guests at home all men eat first while woman cooking inside for whole population, age bar for marriage, if you are not qualified as married, you won’t be respected as married woman which is irrelevant to intellectual attribute of the respective woman, taboo about topics such as sex, alcohol, menstruation, woman’s inner wears and even talking to an unknown woman. Thus there is another reason of my disappointment, a woman is a commodity or a secondary in society structure.
Last but not the least reason is pretension. People came to visit me or sometimes I went to visit some of the relatives. Firstly, I don’t understand why I am supposed to go to someone’s place if they don’t know anything about my life or vice versa. When I asked this question, the response I got was ‘because either we share DNA or they are richer than us’. Obliviously, it wasn’t satisfying answer. Anyways, when you visit people you barely know (or even they know you, they don’t care much about your life except as an entertainment/gossip), they cover their faces with the mask written as ‘kindest in the world’, and as you leave the house that mask goes off screaming worst things about you. I found it hard to identify who is with mask and who is without.
Even with young people, I couldn’t find anything in common, e.g topics to talk, music or even choices of movies. Their opinion about treating a woman, awareness about politics or their affiliation towards Donald Trump shocked me. We grew apart in very different directions, which don’t have any intersection to find a common point. The painful thought that I lost my friends too was confirmed.
You belong to a place just because you hold that country’s passport? Before, I believed that France is not my place, as my PEOPLE are back in MY country, but they are not mine anymore. It has came to just an acquaintance.
Although, I feel more free and liberated at the same time. I am not supposed to please anyone or follow any traditional regulations. I have full authority to stir my life in whichever direction I want. After, this was short saddening visit but I learned the most and felt very happy as it confirmed my FREEDOM is safe.