Excerpt from a dialogue that usually happens between a stranger (either a patient/doctor/postman/cableman/receptionist/watchman etc etc) and me when we introduce ourselves.
Stranger: Hello doctor. What is your name?
Stranger: Where are you from?
Stranger: Oh is it? Where in Kollam ?
Me: Bla Bla
Stranger: Oh wow, I am also from Kollam …. or
Stranger: Oh is it ? My cousin/father/mother/brother/in law etc is from Kollam
Stranger: Do you know this Doctor/Engineer/Minister/Local gunda/any other damn person they know there in the city?
Me: Erm, no. I have spent hardly much time there as I was born and brought up abroad.
Stranger: Oh.. end of conversation, or if that person has people in the gulf, the conversation travels across seas.
Identity crisis is something I face everyday of my life and I am sure quite a lot of NRI’s face this while being away from the place they have grown up. (A cute 5 year old girl last night in Indian Idol Junior introduced herself as British because she is born in London, but her parents are Indian – you see where I am going)
I wonder if the Gulf countries gave citizenship if we would address ourselves as Kuwaiti/Saudi/Arabi etc. Lack of enough emotions resonating with the native land compounded by the fact that childhood, the most cherished moments were spent in another country leaves us having an endearing relation with the home away from home; a relation that goes beyond legalities of citizenship.
It has been 12 years since I left my school and thereby my residence in the Gulf, yet there is that part of me that yearns to be back.