Friday, June 25, 2010


So I just read a book called Born Confused by Tanjua Desai Hidier, and rather different, I guess. It put words to a category of feelings I haven't acknowledged and perhaps never would have had it not been for the Namesake or Born Confused. I feel like there's someone else besides me who has to face how much to assimilate into American culture, how much to let go of the past, how much you can blend into creating your own identity. Everyone I know seems to just magically transform into the norm of this place, while I always stick out with my misplaced W's, Kayshas, and aluminiums. I don't want to let go of that Indianness, it's what I feel most comfortable in. I don't want to be that fobby Indian girl with the accent and whatnot but I feel like I have no choice. In my school, you're either fobby or an oreo (brown on the outside, white on the inside).

I think giving up my accent completely encompasses more than just speech patterns; it includes all the other societal values associated with America that I'm proud to have learned as an Indian and that others wouldn't appreciate, thinking it's so old-school and traditional. Someone once told me I'm the most Indian person they've met, and at first I was affronted, thinking that is so not cool. I think that's a better way to be than the most American person than they've met. It's kind of ironic though because my dad complains that I'm so American all the time.

I once wrote something about not wanting to be Indian, a girl, or even human. I still identify myself as Indian, which disappoints some people perhaps, but who cares what people expect of you right? All that matters is what you think of you.. and here I should insert quotes about being true to yourself and all that shit, but having someone else tell you the stove is hot and you experiencing it are two completely different things. So for now, I'll stick to being an IBCD, NRI, alien in America and all those other things. At heart I am only Srishti.

I've also been thinking about a belief I previously held that whatever needs to be said has been said, that there's no room for originality. I've started forsaking caring about individuality though for just getting the point across. It has, I think, to do with my realization that I do have opinions that do not have to coincide with anyone else's, that don't have to please anyone, but are my own and that matters. That has been a huge breakthrough for me because I'm surrounded by large personalities with opinions on everything, and I've always shied away from forming my own opinions for fear of offending anyone. But maybe that's an opinion, too. Who cares?

I feel very old at sixteen. Looking back, I feel like emotionally, I've come pretty far from that dark spot in 9th grade. I think I've become more resilient, more egocentric, more unsure, more aware, more confused, just more of a person. I'm glad.

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