I recently had lunch with couple of newly acquainted Indian ladies. As I don't have a car, these new friends have been very sweet and have been taking me out for lunch and while coming back, we take a short Indian grocery trip. They have really made my life here so much easier. Anyway, I was talking about this particular lunch that we had in a Gujararti restaurant. BTW, I don't like Gujarati cuisine, especially the fact that they add sugar/jaggery in everything including daal! For me, it's beyond scandalous. But I digress again. So we went out for lunch and, obviously, started talking. At some point, for some reason, I mentioned that I donate blood. The reaction to this statement reminded me how un-Indian-lady like I am.
A typical Indian born shudh desi bhartiya nari doesn't donate blood. She doesn't play sports. She will never ever join a martial art group. She doesn't climb stairs, if there is an elevator available. She doesn't go for a run at any odd hours. Arts mean sketching, painting and handicrafts to them and not photography. She won't ride a bike for 10 miles to reach office if there are other mode of transportation available, especially a car.
"You have lived too long in the US- pata nahi vilayat mein rah kar chhori kya kya sochne lagi hai ;) ”
I didn't think much about it then but now I realize how different I have become since I landed in US. Though I think all these changes have been positive (at least that’s what I think). The environment here gave me freedom to try and realize my full potential in all direction, just not academically. I am far more active, far more social and far more happy. No more inhibitions about what people will think or talk. No more inhibition in trying anything new, whether its physically or artistically or academically challenging. I don't get embarrassed now, I don’t even get annoyed at people on sideline pointing at me (figuratively, of course) while I try something new. I pity them now. I used to be scared like them once upon a time but not any more.
All these realizations made me wonder about other things as well, like: how different I would have been, if I had grown up in US? How would have my life turned out to be then? Did any of you ever thought about it?