They’ve All Gone To Look For America

19 Oct

By the time you read this, I will be flying over the vast North American continent, squealing like a 6-year-old about the excitement of being on a plane again, and singing Alleluia on repeat in my head.

Destination: America.

As much as I delight in my Californian life–the brilliant weather, geographical gorgeousness, access to global culture, technology, and some of the brightest minds in the world, an easy, convenient life with so much of Home–there is no doubt in my mind that the Real America lies 6 hours east, on the highways of New Jersey, in the towers of Manhattan, in the madly rust-and-gold colors that bedeck Syracuse in my dream version of a wedding baraat, around the potholes of Scranton, amidst the knock-your-chaddis-off charm of New England, in the memories that lurk in every corner of Philadelphia’s University City.

America was my 20s. America brought me up. America took a still-naive 22-year-old, seduced her, taught her survival, chewed her up, spat her out, and sent her home a newer, stronger, bruised and burnished person, a care package of heartbreak and her happiest memories in tow. For all the years that I lived in Bombay after moving back, the East Coast was my America. In the 20 months that I’ve joyfully settled in California, the East Coast is still My America.

Even as I type this, I can hardly believe that we will renew our acquaintance tomorrow.  Even as I type this, I can hardly believe it’s been a separation of 7 life-changing years. And even as I type this, I can hardly believe I’ve been to London, Paris, and New York in the same year. (Take that, Ali Zafar!)

Who was that girl from a decade ago? How much hope did she tote around lightly around her shoulders? Who is this woman going back to romance her yesteryears, revisit the life that once consumed her, introduce her partner, her new life, her new position in another societal slot and decade? Whoever she is, she’s going to be surprised. Because someone else is going to pop out screaming–and possibly shedding a few overwhelmed tears–when she first drives up University Ave and comes face to face with ghosts she left behind far too long ago.

Amidst all that is unbelievable about this journey, this I firmly know: loving your past is your best gift to the present, and at long last, my friends, it is finally time.

13 Responses to “They’ve All Gone To Look For America”

  1. ittakestime October 19, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    I just got back from the lovely East Coast and yes I agree with you that it seems more like “America”.
    California is the new home 😉 I love New York, but I think Boston will top my list of favorite cities in the US of A..

    Haffun girl !!

  2. R October 19, 2012 at 10:36 am #

    Aww. Here’s hoping that everything about this trip exceeds your expectations and you come back with a whole bunch of new memories.

  3. R October 19, 2012 at 10:37 am #

    All tied up snugly together with a big, fat, pink polka- dotted bow.

  4. alice-in-wonder October 19, 2012 at 11:34 pm #

    Ooh.. ok I cant comment anything more w/o stumbling over my own tongue. 😀

  5. Aunty G. October 21, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    Notwithstanding the said chuddy-charm
    In NY, she’s shaking a leg and an arm
    This globe-trotting girl
    Churns out another pearl
    And PS, in Ach! Stalker! do i smell smarm?

  6. Null Pointer October 21, 2012 at 7:43 pm #

    aye, if it is life festering through repeated scars and sweetened by unforgettable sin, then let this be your America. If you are alive, this is your America. Bridge your troubled waters and come on home OJ; we always have room for one more.

  7. Dancing Fingers Singing Keypad October 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    Lovely post; made me want to hop on a plane to the East Coast. Also enjoyed reading all your related posts from the past that you have linked to in this one.

  8. Null Pointer October 25, 2012 at 6:26 pm #

    on second thoughts, it’s not *just* the pus or the sin (I was thinking Lower East Side, Baltimore and imaginary streets of my hood). It’s the biryani of cultural flavors, each one holding its own against a comfortably predictable, homogenous backdrop of 7-11s and DDs and your friendly neighborhood liquor store. I hope expectations haven’t disappointed yet.

  9. alice October 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm #

    You back from the east coast? All okay?

  10. Orange Jammies October 29, 2012 at 2:51 pm #

    ittakestime: I agree. Boston is charm-on-toast.

    R: Thank you for that beautiful imagery! I love fat bows. That are big. And pink. And polka dotted. Could we have purple polka dots? :mrgreen:

    alice: Alice stumbles into a hole. Is it growing words now? Oh if they were to sprout like mushrooms! Yes, I’m back and everything is very well, thank you. 🙂

    Aunty G: The Boy listed my travel destinations this year on the flight back. I had to take a moment and catch my breath.

    Null Pointer: Thank you, dear girl. It gives me comfort to see your NJ location, each time it pops up on my Feedjit. As for my expectations, let me just say this was my best trip ever. To any place. At any time.

    DFSK: Glad. 🙂 Go, get on that plane once flights resume!

  11. MomWithaDot November 2, 2012 at 7:01 am #

    “They’ve All Gone To Look For America”……..

    Very True. Glad you found yours, I’m still looking for mine. Sometimes I wonder if it’ll end up a case of Keep Looking 😛

  12. Orange Jammies November 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    MomWithaDot: The title is from the Simon & Garfunkel song, one of my favorites. You’ll never know unless you keep looking, will you? 😉


  1. A Week in Bullet Points « Wisdom Wears Neon Pyjamas - November 5, 2012

    […] trip to the East Coast was fantastic. Everything we wished for and more. One of those rare periods of time when everything […]

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