Footprints

Chithra Binoy

About Chithra

A native from the sun drenched tropics, I followed the love of my life to the United States, twelve years ago when he like many others in The Information Technology, ventured out to the "land of opportunities". I ended up in the Pacific North Western State of Oregon. Six years in one of the nation’s most diverse geographic topographies with fertile valleys, majestic Cascade mountain ranges, and open plains. Looking back, I would say that I did not savor the beauty of the terrain as much as I would have wanted to because it took me a good four years to even begin to get over the culture shock. The change was profound. The perpetual clouds did not do anything to help. The countless days when I longed and longed to glimpse the sun.......

Sunshine..... which I found in abundance in Minnesota. Whether it was the beautiful summer days or during the biting cold winter, you could always find sunshine in MN. Another big change, when we moved to the Twin Cities six years back. It was love at first sight for us. And still in love with Minnesota..........

Living in The United States has been indeed a beautiful experience but here I am after 30 some years of my life in a country with a culture which is totally different to what I have lived and grown with. As an adult I have the freedom to choose what I feel comfortable with. But what about our children who are constantly having to fit into both the cultures?????

My Choice, My Destiny

12/19/2012

My heart seemed to be shattering into a million pieces as I held her close to me.  When did she become so frail?   Here I am again, all packed, bag and baggage bidding goodbye to my 78 year old mother. What do I tell her? I fumble and grope as I choke back emotions that are flooding and drowning me. It’s been more than a decade and it’s still not easy.  Did I ever contemplate about this when I first made this move across the continents? Is this the story of every emigrant who crosses the seas in pursuit of dreams? Did we not plan to return after a few years? I am trying to think about the reasons we had... schools, jobs...... The years, they just rolled by...... The trips to my home country every other year, the million phone calls back and forth kept me going. But which part of the equation did I miss? Why do I have this hollow space in me that never seems to get filled? I grope for answers as I hold my mother close to me, trying to find the right words. I gently pull myself away from her.  As I wheel my baggage into the wide, lit doors of the airport, I turn back one last time to wave at the frail woman who looks all broken and join the line of my fellow passengers into a journey of heartbreak, longing and yet un-fulfilled potential.

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