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May 22, 2009

Which place do I belong: Bangalore to Buffalo to Bombay…

Filed under: personal, travel — Tags: , , — neosurya @ 00:29

This is the reverse chronological order of cities where I have spent a bulk of my adult life. I belong to both Bangalore and Buffalo. Now, where would Obama place me?

The most enjoyable moments for me in Bombay was when I went out riding a bicycle alone on the roads of BARC. The train ride with friends while going to college, and foot boarding across the Vashi creek was something I always looked forward to. When we were in Ghatkopar, I recall being able to witness awesome sunrises. On clear days, we could almost see up to the hills beyond New Bombay.

Buffalo (Sheridan drive) – our residence for the first three years of our married life. What can I say about this place; my wife can describe Buffalo and our life there better than I can. No matter what I say about the Niagara Falls, Kissing Bridge, the simple Buffalo temple, or the Griffis Sculpture Park, there will be people who still call this the “dead city”. I recall myself driving through the wilderness of South Dakota – miles and miles of nothingness, and when night came, a perfect star-studded sky. Most of my friends would not understand the beauty of an un-spoilt night sky.

Unfortunately though, in these times an individual cannot belong to all places. One has to choose.

Take me for example: I consider myself to belong to three places – and love them all equally. But if I walk up to the US consulate today and tell the consular officer that I want to visit Buffalo or South Dakota  to spend a night at the outskirts of nowhere, there would be little chance of getting a visa. Now that Obama has Bangalored us, we will not be able to go anywhere with any amount of ease.

Forget Obama, even politicians in Bombay once agitated that all non-locals must be sent back. One can see “local sentiment” in Bangalore as well. Watching the Niagara waters flow by on a full moon night, I had exclaimed: “With so much love in the world, how can one think of a war”. They can, because they “think”. I sometimes wish that whoever made us had never given us the power of thought.

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