Emotions running Wild

This post is not related to the topics I usually blog about, but it is something I feel very deeply about. I have been heartbroken for two days. I do not want to make a lovey dovey post when that’s not how I feel at the moment. I write from my heart, and this is what is troubling my heart for two days. I wanted to protect my identity before so did not want to tell the name of the state I came from. Now, I think I owe it to my state, and so I am speaking out.

I come from the southern state of Andhra Pradesh in India. Two days back, the central government of India announced they are agreeing to split my state in two. The new states are called Telangana and Andhra for now. (I think they are still deciding on the exact names). My ancestors were from Andhra side of the state but moved to Hyderabad which is the capital of Andhra Pradesh. Hyderabad is geographically a Telangana region. I was born and brought up in Hyderabad. It’s my home. For a while now, the people of Telangana are fighting for a separate state because they think people from Andhra took over Hyderabad and robbed them of their opportunities. But isn’t Hyderabad the capital of the state? Doesn’t that mean both Andhra and Telangana people have equal access to it? But who cares? All that matters is what Politicians say. I mean, that is how the masses are riled up. So, people started this hysteria about how people from Andhra have ripped them of their birth right and invaded their “Golden Hyderabad”. The reality is Hyderabad was not golden in the past. People from Andhra moved to Hyderabad and build business, commerce etc. It really hurts me when some of my friends say you Andhra people took our opportunities. I was born in Hyderabad. That is my house, and no one can deny it. I mean, it’s still my state and my country. So , this division hurts me badly.  This is how the story went down yesterday after I got the news.

My mom is my alarm. She calls me and wakes me every day in the morning. (Don’t judge. I am an Indian. It’s my birth right to be dependent on parents for the rest of my life. Lol). After she woke me yesterday, she gave me the news. I was devastated with the news and started tearing up. My mom was surprised that it meant so much to me. After all, I love an American, that means I should hate India; this is how my mom thinks. That is not true obviously. I love my motherland as much as any other Indian would. Indians symbolize India as mother: “Bharat matha” (Bharat =India, Matha=mother). Telugu people consider their state to be their mother too: “Telugu talli” (Telugu= language, Talli= mother). I woke up and logged on to face book and saw some of my friend’s celebratory post and some sad post. Some were on the top of the world celebrating their success. They posted slides of my state map being cut in half with a scissor. How callous of them! They cut my mother (Telugu talli) into two halves and celebrate their success by posting these pictures. I was so aggravated. Telugu talli now became Telangana talli. I was not taught anything about Telangana talli at school. They stripped my identity over night, broke my mother, and took away my home. I can never go back to my home the way I left it 4.5 years ago. People were talking about practicality, and all I could hear was, “we sold our soul to the devil”. Why would we create another division, as if we don’t have enough divisions already.  We already have enough divisions on the earth that we are fighting each other for. Why do we have the urge to draw lines and boundaries around us? There is so much violence in the world today because of the divisions we have created. Why do we have to always try to nit-pick the differences between us? Why can’t we find the ways in which we are similar to one another? After all, we all live by breathing air, drinking water, and eating food. We all will die in the absence of these things. I think the answer is simple, that is just an anomaly of our genetic code.

My parents and relatives started worrying about me and telling me it’s not my business. They told me I should just study for my medical exams and not worry about what happens in India. They were not able to understand why I feel the way I do. They keep asking me one question and that is how it impacts me? They say I should not express my thoughts when there is nothing good coming out of it. But why should I not? I have God given right to have an opinion. I am only stating my feelings and not forcing them on anyone. I wonder if my family will ever understand that I am much more than a doctor. I know being a doctor and making a living is important, but that does not make me complete.

My reasons

1)      It bothers me because I love India, and I love Andhra Pradesh. It’s my mother. All I see when I think about this is my mother being cut into two.

2)      It bothers me because I am worried how this will affect the rest of the country. There are other states that are demanding for same kind of split. Does that mean we will divide India into several little pieces?

3)      It bothers me because what if states start asking to secede from India?

4)      It bothers me because we are creating another division. God knows what problems it is going to bring in the future. The topic of divisions is very personal to me. I mean the caste system is the cause of so many ills in India. Every time I talk about D and I, my mother tells me, “How many divisions must I ignore to accept D?” Yes, the same divisions that were once created for political and economic purposes are now part of societal culture.

5)      It bothers me because people say I should not talk because I am an opportunist that left the mother land. The way I see it, I left the country which means more opportunity for people who are there. I left to experience the world and learn more. How is that a wrong thing? I might even go back in the future.

6)      It bothers me because we are falling for the tactics of the selfish politicians. All they care for is their personal gain and nothing else.

7)      It bothers me because I might be overly home sick. I have been away for 4.5 years, all the while going through the toughest times of my life in US. It kills me that I cannot go back to my Hyderabad as I know it.

What I am trying to tell myself to cool myself down:

1)      May be I should stop being emotional and just think of the people there who think they might benefit from this. After all, there is no practical impact on me. All I am losing is an Identity, but if that helps them to have a better life, maybe I should stop being sad and cheer up.

2)       I always think about the identity issues with biracial children. I tell D that I will tell our kids they should be proud they are a part of two beautiful cultures. They get to represent a larger percentage of mankind than I or D ever could. So, why I am feeling sad now? I get to represent two states instead of one. I don’t have to pick sides. Whatever the technical terms are, in my heart it’s still “Andhra Pradesh”. Just by changing the name they cannot change the landscape, or geography, or the heart of the people that live there.

3)      Sometime back, I was watching a video on the history channel. There was a line in the video which goes something like this: Great cities rise and fall, people migrate, and this is all a normal part of growth. May be I should accept that this is just a part of history and accept it.

Whatever it is, my emotions are running pretty wild right now as I am really confused. Do I really even have a right to grieve about this? (Most of my family thinks I should not). Why am I always the black sheep of the family? Sometimes I feel like I wish I was not this adventurous and just listen to my parents. My life would be so simple if I listen to them, but can I do that? No, I can’t do something I don’t believe in even if my parents want me to. It doesn’t matter how easy it makes my life.

My mom tells me that I have two sides: one which doesn’t follow Indian traditions, and the other which loves India so much more than a person who follows Indian traditions.  To this I replied she has two sides too: one who strictly follows Indian traditions and the other who thinks I am being impractical to love India. Lol mom, I have learnt to use your weapon on you. I hope my mother can understand that they are not exclusive of each other.

So here is my position: I love an American, I live in America, but still I have the utmost love and respect for India. India is not perfect. She has her flaws, but she is still my mother.  If not for D, I might have been in India by now.

I am sorry this has been a very emotional and sentimental post. I am sorry if I offended any one’s feelings. I was merely expressing my feelings, and I have utmost respect for your feelings if you feel differently.

Thank you for your patience if you have made to the end of this post. It feels a lot better now that I put my feelings in words.

-R.

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4 Comments

  1. Ohhhh ok, I felt like it was all about politics but it was too confusing! When I was there, I felt like all the folks who were doing the riots were just young kids, not even from Hyderabad itself. All these young kids easily riled up.

    Reply
    • Raina

       /  August 6, 2013

      Actually some rallies politicians pay these kids to come and riot. It is sad because they are teenagers/ young adults (we know that teenagers are crazy) and they may get injured.

      Reply
  2. It is such an uneasy feeling to have the state split in two. I still don’t understand why, the more I read and ask people the more I get confused. They are saying it’s because of language but everyone speaks Telugu, just different dialects, so I didn’t get why they had to divide it…???

    Reply
    • Raina

       /  August 6, 2013

      There was this demand in 1950’s but it all settled down. In mid 2000’s there was this politician called “KCR”, he was denied a minister post in state assembly or something to that effect. Because he is an “i” word (I do not say this publicly.) and not because he belonged to one region.
      Anyway he resigned from the party and started and new political party whose vision was Telangana state. He started to rile up the uneducated masses in Telangana area and got to educated people slowly. He kept on telling them how they were exploited? This stirred up the emotions. We are sometimes so much emotional that we stop thinking with brain and start thinking with our heart. They went to the extent of creating an image of”Telangana talli” and “Telangana muddubidalu”- Lovely kids of Telangana.

      And now they finally got what they want. All this is because one stupid politicians did not get what he want, so he can make more money. Now, if we talk to some one who wants separate Telangana state. They do not have anything to say except the talking points fed to them by the politicians. So, they are not analyzing just following.

      Reply

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