This's quite strange that despite the fact that we - each one of us - have no say whatsoever in choosing our name, our religion, our place of birth, how and when we are born, to whom we are born, our name, our genes (not our jeans of course), our food habits, our basic lifestyle and of course the time and place of our death - as we grow up, we fall in love with each of these, make them our own, and fight to our last breath to propagate, promote and defend each one of them, barring our death.
And so we build our life's narrative; from a series of experiences that are native (associated with the place or circumstances of our birth) - the flora, the fauna, people, culture, and lifestyle - from our storytelling grandparents to the ice candy seller, to the sweets, chocolates and birthday celebrations, to our teachers, our chaddi dosths (our buddies when we are in chaddies!) and cousins, to the feasts - the jathres, Kambala, Eid, Christmas, Diwali, and others - the movies, our schools, our festivities, our relationships - parents, aunts, uncles, community elders - our language, especially the slang we use, our support ecosystem, religious and social traditions, and rituals.
It is affinity by association, a constant association I may add. We tend also, to not question them, possibly because we do not know any other or in most cases do want to go against the grain - we would be one grain in a whole heap that bears down on us.
It is a narrative that will stay with us through our lives.
Life is not static and at some point, we may have to leave this comfort zone that we call ‘My Native Place’, - and that is a term with a wide meaning - but we tend to carry this narrative with us wherever we go.
While we may visit and even sustain in new cultures, new relationships, and new lifestyles for better or worse, certain parts of the narrative will always remain unchanged. And it is because of this, we will take every opportunity available to us, to connect with it whenever we can, however, we can – through periodical visits, reading about it, listening to voices emanating from it, participating in its development, entertainment, fairs and the like from afar and sometimes even physically, and generally just keeping in touch.
We are lucky that we live in an age where technology has advanced to the degree that all of these are possible at the click of a button.
We are blessed. Let us stay that way.
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