Dear India, I miss you already

Carter Road at Sunset.

Aside from the ache I have to see my family and friends again I miss the silliest things about America.

I miss driving my own car; I miss 24-hour supermarkets. I miss the security of American sidewalks where I don’t worry I might plunge into a giant hole in the sidewalk and end up in an open sewer. I miss grilled cheese sandwiches with real cheese and the beauty of a taco on a homemade tortilla from a taco truck. I miss the culture, by which of course I mean hot dogs and apple pie. (Not actually these foods but the culture these foods have somehow come to represent). I miss a level of gender equity that while far from perfect is far beyond that which I’ve seen and experienced in India. I miss the familiarity that comes from growing up in a place and knowing how things work without a second thought. I miss speaking the same language as those around me and I miss bars being open past 1am. I miss karaoke and I miss wearing socks. I miss the strangest things about home.

But perhaps what has come as a bigger surprise than the randomness of the things I miss is the intensity with which I have fallen in love with India. I thought I would look forward to leaving; I thought I would need a break and want to go home. And indeed I could use a break from the daily challenges of bad infrastructure and the chaos of this country and I do indeed miss my people back home desperately. But I found a home here in a way I never expected I would. I built a community here. I got comfortable and familiar. I will miss the India I have gotten to know and I will be sad to leave it behind when I return to the US at the end of June.

I will miss the spots that make Bombay, Bombay. By which of course I mean the peace you find standing on Carter Road or Marine Drive after a long day’s work and watching the sun sink into the polluted sky and light up the city in an orange glow. I will miss Juhu beach, packed with people in the evening time. I will miss being in the same country and time zone as my cousins. I will miss talking to them so often and weekend trips to Kerala. I will miss how every ally and gully is packed with kids, laughing an playing cricket despite the interruptions of autos that race through their cricket pitch.  I will miss commuting my local train. I will miss the chaat of India. The jalebi, samosa, the pani puri, because when you crave pani puri there simply is no substitute. I will miss the constant stream of festivals and the random late night dance parties. But mostly I will miss the people. I will miss the amazing friends I have made here in India and will be blessed to keep even after I leave.

The best part about my time is India has not been any one thing I was able to do or any one person I met it has been the massive shift in perspective. The awakening to the world outside the country I call home. The perspective gained from seeing through a new lens, from living in a different country. A blessing that I know will continue to give even after I fly home to the States.

Gayatri Eassey is committed to making an impact and a difference in her community both in the United States and in India, both personally and professionally. She is passionate about education, democracy and women's empowerment. She enjoys traveling, taking pictures and spending time with friends and family. She is a dedicated advocate for educational equity and has worked for The College Success Foundation and as Associate Director for External Affairs for Seattle University's Career Services Office. She is the former Interim Executive Director for Career Services at Seattle University. Prior to working at Seattle University she served as Executive Director of City Year Seattle, and as special assistant for boards and commissions in the Office of Washington State Governor Christine Gregoire. She spent three years on the Seattle Community College Board of Trustees. She was the co-founder of the YWCA's Gen-Rising Committee, committed to engaging more young people in the critical work of the YWCA. Her additional experience includes work as a trainer for the National Democratic Institute in Amman, Jordan, preparing women to run for elective office. She has also served as political director for the Washington State Democrats. She recently completed a fellowship with the National Urban Fellows, America's Leaders of Change. She is a former board member for the Center for Women and Democracy, the Institute for a Democratic Future, and the Seattle Chamber of Commerce Young Professional Network. She was the Statewide President of the Young Democrats of Washington and a Fellow with the World Affairs Council of Seattle. She earned her MBA in 2012 and hopes to align her government and nonprofit background with her business education to support public private partnerships which provide mutual benefit and strengthen communities.

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2 thoughts on “Dear India, I miss you already

  1. Gayatri
    At Orientation and in my welcome letter to all Fellows I had promised that India has a way of seeping into your bones, literally and figuratively. Really glad it happened for you.
    Best
    Sridar

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