27 Days

Today, I was sitting at the Union and editing an article about the food writer Shoba Narayan, who writes memoirs/cookbooks about the South Indian (intensely Tamil) food experiences she’s had. And suddenly I started tearing up, right there in public, in the middle of reading a short story where she talks about how she had to cook a multi-course meal for her family so they’d let her go to America.

It’s a wonderful read, and I felt as though I was losing something, as though I can’t lay claim to anything anymore. As if I couldn’t be South Indian if I didn’t know these particular things, that I was a sham. More than that I suppose is the fact that I’ve finally admitted to homesickness and missing these things.

In 27 days I have to pack and go home. I don’t want to pretend that things will suddenly make sense to me if I eat my mum’s sambar again, but it’s nice to know that there’s something that lays claim to me, even if I cannot to it.

But I still don’t know if I want to be owned, and I don’t like owing anyone anything. We’ll see.

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