I hope everyone had a very good time with friends and family over Thanksgiving. I hope it was a happy one. Honestly, ever since i started living in the U.S. I feel like i have become much more grateful for all the wonderful things people do for me, the opportunities and love i’ve received. There are days when it feels like i am an alien here. Days when i don’t understand what’s going on even though i do and days when i can’t keep up because that’s not how i learned to live.
A few days ago, i was talking to my good friend, we were sitting in the computer lab discussing job openings and applications when i told him how lucky he was to not have to deal with being an international student and that every job he applies to, he stands a very good chance. Pat came his reply, “I am sorry you weren’t born here.” I know for a fact, he wasn’t really “Sorry” about it but it enraged me that he even entertained the thought that i would have preferred to be born there. I was quick to respond, “I am happy that i was born where i was, I am glad i was born in India and that i see things differently.”
That incident happened Friday before the Thanksgiving break. He forgot all about it but i just can’t take it out of my head. The weather was bad on Sunday and V (another friend) happened to get into some trouble with that. School was closed on Monday due to snow showers and bad weather. Good for us I also had to fly out for something but my flight was cancelled and i think i am glad it was. Another reason to be Thankful. Tuesday we reconvened in the class and later in the lab. We were supposed to grab dinner outside but had to drop another classmate home. She lives near his parents so we decided to make a quick stop at the parents’ place. His mom in the meanwhile kept some soup and pizza ready for us. I was tired and hungry from Zumba and couldn’t bring myself to decline the offer, so we stayed. We ended up staying there for over two hours, eating dinner, me fielding questions about my country, defending some policies, being candid about some state of affairs and playing with the dog. It was a fun time and i am thankful for that.
Wednesday was uneventful for the most part except my friends decided to take me out at night for a drink, it was just V, G and me. We spent time engaging each other in a nonsensical conversation and trying to be rational about it. What would i do without those two. The day i was waiting for all week was now finally here. Thursday. Thanksgiving Day. Turkey Day.
I have been here in this country for three Thanksgivings and each year has been very different, while the first was spent in my house, last year was at an Indian family’s but the food was mostly American but this year was my first real American Thanksgiving and i was the only Indian in the room. I was lucky to be invited over by J to the M household to celebrate Thanksgiving with her family. It was her parents, grandma, uncle, aunt, cousins, herself, one of my Professors and me! Oh, and the two dogs. I was treated like one of the grandkids, i was gifted a Christmas ornament with a $5 bill in it. It felt like my own grandma gave me this gift. Also, their family tradition is that you need to bring the Christmas ornament back to the house the following year to receive more money!
It was a great time eating all the wonderful things prepared by J’s mom, grandma and aunt. I stayed there from 3pm to 10pm and it was just J, her mom, grandma and me having a discussion from 7pm until 10pm. Grandma had to work the next morning so she excused herself at 9pm and went to bed. I felt welcomed. I felt Thankful for having a friend who thought of me and wanted to include me as part of the family celebration.
Anyone who knows how American things go know that it’s few times a year that families come together and Thanksgiving is a big deal celebration. It’s very different from Indian celebrations because most of ours are a “chalo sab aa jao” and “Everyone’s welcome” kind of celebration. Here a lot of emphasis is on celebrating with very near and very dear ones.
The fact that i am considered to be near or dear or both is what i am most Thankful for in this moment. It makes me feel positive, it helps me feel less pain for all the times people have not given back as much as they should’ve or could’ve. (This part is something i am taking from Amarllyis, my friend and fellow blogger who is so much better than i am )
Link to her post: http://amarllyis.com/2013/11/because-it-matters/
I am lucky to have been part of this journey, my journey. I know exciting things are in store in the future. I want to believe in everything positive but that belief stems from the realization that there’s more good in this world than bad. There are more kind people than unkind. That in the end things always work out or they eventually will and for all these reasons i have to be/ am deeply grateful and thankful.
Until next time, Peace Out!