Roots. What a peculiar thing that can affect us so much when we least expect them to. I thought I had worked through a lot of my inner struggles with roots and identity by this age but I was so wrong. Why do I keep coming back to this country, why can’t I let it go? My father left India almost 50 years ago and I as an adult keep coming back as if something is pulling me here. Is there a stronger energy at play here that wants me coming back? What is the purpose of me feeling this way?
There are two days left of my trip and the emotions are already building up, that I am going back and leaving this behind. Once again, just like any other year, I am travelling back to Sweden. My home. Don’t get me wrong, I am very grateful for my life in Sweden and that’s all I have ever known to be my home. But I have never felt that I fully belong there, there’s just that big chunk of both my heart and soul never able to belong to Sweden and it is always left behind in India. I come back to try to find my pieces every year to try to feel whole. I have also started to accept that it might be difficult for anything to ever fill that void of never belonging anywhere. The trick is to find ways to cope with this empty feeling.
When I land in Sweden and travel back to my apartment on the smooth empty highways, it’s always a bittersweet feeling. I feel emotional over the fact that I have left something behind but at the same time I am embracing what is so familiar to me. The life in Sweden. What gets to me each time, is that I notice that my clothes smell like India and the scent of Sweden is so different. The air is much lighter. There are no noises from traffic, no unnecessary honking going on. One would think that it’s something you’d never miss about India, but it’s exactly these things that make India come alive. It’s never sleeping and you learn to be mindful and unbothered by the scents, the noise, the crowd and everything that happens at once. Once you get mindful and one with it all, it creates this feeling of presence and bliss that we have all heard people mesmerised with India talk about. The hippies.
Even right now when I am typing this, I am sitting in my bedroom in our shared flat and the windows are closed. But you can hear everything from the streets four floors down in the middle of the city centre of Colaba, Mumbai. During a few wee hours in the night it goes quiet before the city wakes up to the organised chaos. I am not someone who easily get attached to places, I like to keep my memories of people and places normally and that is what I bring with me everywhere I go. But there has always been something with Mumbai that has pulled me in. I believe it’s the contrast between the rest of India that I’ve seen (which is not much compared to how much is left to see) and the India that exists in Mumbai. There’s a vibe in this town that is hard to match elsewhere. Perhaps I am a romantic Pisces that only likes to focus on these pink cloudy thoughts whenever I describe this town, but I am positive that I am not the only one who thinks this way. Obviously it’s not the jammed traffic, the high air pollution and crowded areas that make you love this city. It’s what language it speaks to you when you listen carefully with your ears and your heart. What is the soul of this place? Does it connect with you? Why?
I’ve made a new video on YouTube where I answer some questions about my ethnicity. The video is inspired by the tag that is circulating around on YouTube. It’s intended for you all to get to know my background a little bit more, at least my Indian side. Let’s connect over at YouTube if you haven’t already subscribed to my channel, the link is pasted below.
Questions answered in the video:
1. Where are you from?
2. When was the last time you visited your country?
3. What part of the country are you and your family from?
4. Name one ethnic food that you enjoy the most.
5. Name one household item that best represents your culture.
6. Do you speak your language?
Things are chaotic in the world right now, and some might say, it always is. But truth be told, I haven’t always been the person watching the news or reading up on them online to keep track of everything happening in the world. My father and my sister always used to watch the news together and I found it utterly boring so I always went and did something else. In my recent years I’ve found myself to enjoy reading up on local Swedish politics and reading news; I want to do something about all the negative happenings in the world. When I got my full-time job I promised to try to give back to the society by donating a portion of my salary to X charity organisations. I’m probably a super sensitive person, but everything sad or depressive makes me cry. I can sit and cry in front of the TV for almost anything that might sound like it’s sad. Watched the documentary about Zlatan Ibrahimovic (and I don’t even like sports, nor football for that matter), and I cry because of things his father says about him when he feels proud. Is it just me? Or are people like this?
Most importantly I found the whole refugee situation in Syria devastating and it makes me cry. I cry because I feel that it shouldn’t have to be this way for people of the world. And I cry because it makes me sad that so many people of Sweden choose to vote for a political party that wants to stop these people from coming in and getting help. They deserve the same help as anyone. In an ideal world all countries wouldn’t be so strict with their boundaries, they should rather see the world as One and everyone as citizens of the same world as them. I actually get sick to my stomach that there are people who are so selfish when they have everything you could ask for in this world (a warm bed, a home to go to, a work or an income etc), and is not able to share. I know everyone is not able to help out so much, but it’s the thought that counts – seriously. If we’re open and generous, I’m hoping that the positive thought is contagious and more hope is born. Believe that we can make it through this, stronger, and with more lessons learned. I feel naïve to think that people should just be open and kind, when the reality is far from it, but I can’t help but to still have hope that there will come a change when people embrace each other as just another human being.
Ending this post with an appropriate but strong song by one of my favourite bands, Assemblage 23.
Madman’s Dream – Assemblage 23
Peace and Love,