XXV. - I want to be mobile and go....

from here (UPenn):

To ___________   -  elsewhere.

I do not want to travel, per se - I do not want to forever be in transport without paying mind to the enclaves of life and the various passerby that I would be traveling adjacent to.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, I want to explore.

Living in America, one could say, (meaning, not me necessarily), that we’re fortunate. All you have to do is look at the English language of America; There is no “formal” participle, as there is in other languages to reflect implicit hierarchy, because we’re all the on the same level - we’re all equal.

Growing up I always told my parents that I would have rather have grown up somewhere else in the world. Somewhere where people are less self-obsessed and are more global - more aware of other people and places. A place where the inhabitants are collectively aware of the ways of the tangible world, and in tune with the non-tangible world.

Do you ever feel bored?

I know it is terrible to admit boredom, mostly because there is no reason for anyone to ever feel bored.

I am not bored.

Bored is not the word to articulate what I want to tell you.

Do you ever feel like you want something exciting to happen? You don’t want anything terrible to happen - you don’t want that kind of excitement. Maybe it’s the routine of life for the past few consecutive weeks/ months that you just want to change?

(I don’t think I’ve ever had a routine that hasn’t changed in over a year. In fact, I’m sure I haven’t.)

You want a mora in the afsana that is your life.

That is to say, you want the narrative of your life to have a twist.

My parents demanded a reason for my desire to leave my birthplace.

My response: First of all, Manhattan, NY is my birthplace…

My parents: “Here we go…”

                   New York is different from the rest of the country. You know that… it is not this diverse anywhere else. Our public school system is not bad - 7th grade was the equivalent of junior year in high school! We had a formal application process! School uniforms are non-existent here - remember the protests? More importantly, there is no high school football team and cheerleading is banned in most NYC schools. Thank God…

My parents: “We know. But, the United States is the best place in the world. There is no corruption running rampant. Everything is available for everyone. You can say that you want to live elsewhere because life has been so, not easy, but comfortable here. You don’t know how it is elsewhere.”

                 Exactly - I don’t know. I want to see what else is out there. Also, I don’t care for the rawness here. (Refer to the participle statement above.) I want sophistication.

Suddenly I felt silly…

As I continued to try and justify my point of view to my parents, I told them I want to be able to pass down to my children a solidified culture.

My parents admiringly responded in a level-headed and what I thought to be an intelligent manner. (If I were them I would have flipped.) They told me that I did have a culture and that I was even more fortunate, in that sense, since I had two different cultures that I could call my own and furthermore, two cultures that I have actually experienced.

Dad’s side: Growing up we celebrated every Sikh holiday by going to Gurudwara (Sikh temple), we would see Ravan’s ten heads catch fire on Dashera, and on Raksha Bandhan I would tie threads and in my head said a little prayer, (without anyone knowing), for the well-being of all my brothers.

Mom’s side: Every Christmas we would put up and decorate a real tree. We would go to Rockefeller Center and Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue, and take in all the window works of art. We would light a candle, put holy water on our heads, and say a silent prayer in St. Patrick’s cathedral. My brother and I would get to look into our stockings on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning we all were content and happy to be in each others’ company.

I’m sure I was tearing up in the backseat. How could my overly-stressed, away from home, displaced, wired on caffeine, pre-med, college-self, forget all of this?

I still stand by the fact that I would live no where else in the U.S. but New York City.

I still stand by the fact that I want to explore -

maybe I’ll find what I’m looking for and that will be the much awaited twist in my personal narrative -