Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Time for Change





I am an Indian
I do not want to become an American...
...by choice
I am proud of my Jana Gana, my Jhansi ki Rani,
my resilient nature and my lit up Diwali
My Amar Chitra Kathas, my Namasteys
My bhutta on the road and curbside Gol-Gappes
And I clutch on to my navy blue passport
My proof of my Indian-ness

I am an Indian
I do not want to become an American...
... by choice
I don't get all the jokes on SNL
Am baffled even today by NFL
I like the "u" in my color
And no ice in my water
And so I clutch on to my navy blue passport
My proof of my Indian-ness

I am an Indian
I do not want to become an American...
... by choice
I love the wide roads here
The green in my suburb, the clean fresh air
I love the politeness, the independence
The discipline and the freedom of my space
I am a tad selfish and a hypocrite
And so I clutch on to my navy blue passport
My proof of my Indian-ness

My little girl is an American
And yesterday she got a brand new President
She calls him "Orack Obama"
I love that guy, his presence, his charisma
And today I am proud of my daughter's American-ness,
I believe in her president
He is no messiah but change is his tenet

"Who is your President?", she asks
And I still clutch on to my navy blue passport
Do I want to make the change, maybe Yes but not yet





Jana Gana Mana -- India's National Anthem
Jhansi Ki Rani -- the rebel queen of Jhansi
Bhutta -- Corn on the cob roasted, salted and sold on carts on the roadside
Gol-Gappe -- Panipuri

38 comments:

  1. passionate.

    "orack obama" LOL. amar ekhane "buma"

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  2. Nice. Somehow the line "I like the "u" in my colour" stands out.

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  3. I guess we all have suffered these sentiments whenever we have stayed in US whether for( long terms or short terms ) , Identity Crisis is what I can sum up from these lines ..
    what an irony , we always cry for things which are not part of our lives , yet when they become part of our life, we want to run away (that includes me also) …
    I hope I am not hurting anyones sentiments here, If I have, I am sorry then...
    may the future generations , dont have to face this "Identity crisis"...
    ~Jaya

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  4. Awesome!I was nodding my head in agreement at every line!!

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  5. I also love my U in colour, and though the skedule has won over the shedule. I too am happy very clutch onto my navy blue passport. But the big question is Can I be ecstatic about 'my' president as well?

    It is fact that for grown ups, these simple questions never have simple answers.

    Please give a big hug to Grown up Little S on getting the New President Orack Obama

    Take care

    Arundhati

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  6. Nags
    :)

    Soma
    and the other day she comes and tells me about Rosa Parks too :)

    Sra
    There are more like that.

    Anon/Jaya
    "we always cry for things which are not part of our live"
    NO, I am not crying for anything. I love my life here but of course I cannot give up what I had been born and grown up with, can I ?
    I don't see it so much as a "crisis", more of a "multiple identity" which I feel enriches the individual as well as the country.

    Notyet100, Meeta, ~nm, Happy Cook

    Thank You :)

    BWM

    India te aajkal "skedule" bole naki ?
    And yes that is a question, maybe you were a couple of years back (ei term e to aboshoyi noy)

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  7. Very nice, and I am sure many people will identify with "I like the 'u' in my color"

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  8. Li'l S is growing up, isn't she :-)

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  9. I share the same sentiment and u expressed it so brilliantly and beautifully!

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  10. HeHe!! I hate ice in water too, still don't get the NFL but will be an American shortly, so we can fly to Europe in a moment's notice, without the rigmarole of getting VISA to every country we want to see other than India! :D

    I am watching the Prez and waiting for his promises to be realized,want to see action rather than just words, no hero worship in my house ever.

    Kids are born and raised here are Americans, don't let others tell them anything else, let them be "them" rather than "us", that's what I preach and practice! :))

    Have a wonderful day S.It's so bloody cold here, I can't even type without my fingers getting stiff. Grr..!!

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  11. Bhagyashri
    Hey but you are in London you do have the "u"

    Sunita
    :)

    Shn
    :)

    Asha
    Me, I am totally smitten by Obama. Had a fight with D because I thought he danced so beautifully with Michelle, looked into her eyes and that kind :)
    Had been to Europe on a visa, but not all of it and I do agree that not having to go with the rigmarole if you are travelling extensively helps

    I don't tell S anything but because I have still reatined my nationality sometimes she wants to become "Indian" too. So I tell her that she is "both American & Indian" and that is much better than being just one :)

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  12. This was just so beautiful, Sandeepa!
    Very very nice.

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  13. Beautiful written as usual :) Missed many of ur post... How r u?

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  14. Very well written. Similar emotions hit me at different points of time in this country and it all came out in a deluge when I gave up my passport and got me a new nation. However it was all worth it when I cast my vote this past election and I am inching towards the point where the Star Spangled banner also gives me goosebumps. I think I will balance.

    p.s. The passport is still navy blue :D

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  15. This is a very nice post. As a US citizen from birth (married to a Bong who has Indian citizenship), one of the things I am most happy about is the fact that so many people, American or not, and from very diverse backgrounds, are sharing the feelings of excitement, inspiration, and renewal Obama has generated. As you rightly say, "I don't see it so much as a "crisis", more of a "multiple identity" which I feel enriches the individual as well as the country." That richness of cultural identity is one of Obama's great strengths too!

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  16. PS. I am with you on both SNL and NFL! ;-)

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  17. Sandeepa! you are a true Bengali after all, the poet in you I mean.

    For me atleast the passport in hand is more convenience then anything else.

    I got on to the Obama bandwagon pretty late, and my sentiment is he better deliver.

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  18. Your little bit written & the you tube to go with it are just amazing. I am 100 % a proud Indian, does not matter where I live & which colour passport I have.

    You are right about Obama, he does have a presence about him that I cannot quite describe. It is time for the world to change.

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  19. wow! I simply adore this dear! I adore every word of it!

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  20. Beautiful! Loved reading it. CAn relate so much to it.

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  21. Adorable. What a lovely read :)

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  22. That was a very nice poem. My husband is battling with the same sentiments right now. No matter what you decide to do, the great thing is that no one can ever take away what is in your heart :)

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  23. what an absolutely touching post. So completely echoes my sentiments. I couldnt ever have put it so eloquently.
    Best parts: 1.Dont get the jokes in SNL.
    2. Like 'u' in my color
    3. No ice in my water!
    4.Do I want to make a change..maybe yes. But not yet!!
    Loved it!!!!

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  24. I Loved this .India tey skedule chhara o onek kichhu boley (: Esho dekhtey aar shuntey parbey . Bhishon bhalo laglo

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  25. Thankfully yes, I do have the 'u' here :) but then I often come in contact with those who omit this 'u' and thats when I get thinking - why do they need a totally different version of English as compared to the other parts of the world?

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  26. Hi Sandeepa,

    Very good poem..I am your blog reader..But never left any comment..

    I put it on my orkut acount bcoz I felt those were exactly my feelings & people told me that how good I have written..Then I realised my mistake..I should have taken your permission before using it..Now I have updated it as written by Sandeepa of "Bong Mom's Cookbook". With your due permission, can I mail this poem to my friends?..WIth your name as a writer of course..

    Thanks & Sorry once again..

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  27. Hi Sandeepa,

    Very good poem..I am your blog reader..But never left any comment..

    I put it on my orkut acount bcoz I felt those were exactly my feelings & people told me that how good I have written..Then I realised my mistake..I should have taken your permission before using it..Now I have updated it as written by Sandeepa of "Bong Mom's Cookbook". With your due permission, can I mail this poem to my friends?..WIth your name as a writer of course..

    Thanks & Sorry once again..

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  28. Hi Deepa

    Thanks for telling me.

    I would appreciate if in your ORKUT account you would give a link to this post instead of copying and putting it.That would really be the right thing to do.

    Also please do not mail the poem, instead link to my post in your e-mail if you wish to

    thanks
    sandeepa

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  29. Thanks Sandeepa...

    Will do that !

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  30. Deepa

    Thanks for being so prompt and am glad that you liked it :)
    You can use ecerpts if you want to

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  31. Hello Sandeepa,

    Actually I had done it unintenionally.& when I realised it, I just felt I should write you back...So :)

    Also..I liked your kalakand very much..I had tried it..

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  32. lovely sandeepa!

    coming here first time i think, lovely blog. only, i am very hungry now!

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