India and The Remembered
This trip to the beautiful country of India will remain one of my most cherished memories of 2013. Leaving in the mids of autumn I arrived to Andhra Pradesh, a state at the time that was in the process of being divided. It too was in a bad after math of a Cyclone. Timing couldn’t have been better though. Early morning upon arrival to Hyderabad, the city had been soaked for weeks from constant rain fall. Luckily the clouds parted way and the sun shined through my entire ten day stay.
"What must I do in Hyderabad" I asked my Finance's Auntie. "I'll take you to the old city" she replied with excitement. The Charminar building is indeed a charming relic. It towered high above over the busy sea of people below.
Due to Andhra Pradesh's state division, riots had broken out prior to my arrival. It all had steamed off just in time for Diwali, the festival of lights in which every child dare not miss.
India is literally my true love. Though it was only the second place I've traveled to, there was a charm to the country I could not shrug off.
India is a place completely opposite to the orderly and structured environment of the States. They say you either love or hate it. The pace of the country is quite chaotic but once you begin to harmonize with its tune you'll appreciate it's hidden lesson.
It's a place deeply rooted with culture, religion, and a past that ranks amongst one of the oldest civilizations on earth.
My stay in India was short, but by the end of the trip it felt as though it had only began. I don't think I would ever truly feel at home there, but neither do I feel the same living as a second generation Hmong American in the US.
As I ventured west to a smaller village, I began to sense something familiar. The rice paddy's of Achanta were the playgrounds where Gowtham would venture to during long Indian summers spent at his grandparents.
The vast green rice fields and deeply rooted coconut forest struck a faint lullaby long forgotten. "Have I been here before" I thought as the warm breeze embraced me with a sudden shock of nostalgia. It felt like a place perhaps in dreams, a memory from past lives buried from rebirth. Frighten to be forgotten, it knocked at all my senses, urging to my mind.
"Yes, I have been here before" I thought. Though I could not recall, I did once know. What laid before me was only a portrayal of a place nor have I seen or ever been to before. "Yes" I remembered. It was a tale told from both my parents of a far off, almost fairy tale like, land. "It's embedded into your DNA" they would always say. But as I stood there with all my might to remember, there was just nothing, only a ghostly song in the wind. It was a long lost land wanting to be remembered, and what laid before me was what I could only imagine it would be like.
Yes India was a foreign land but with all it's beauty brought forth a place I too shall never forget and for that I am grateful.
Some day I will re-united with my mother land. For now though- I will embrace my excitement over India as it is destined to be painted and absorbed onto the blank pages of my story.
I'll see you soon sweet land.