I write because the struggles of immigration grieve me in a personal way, a way that for a long time divided my family to near disrepair. Despite this, I believe my very conservative Christian, Indian parents attempted to understand why this American-born Indian girl had to do things a bit differently than what they had planned. And what I wanted was exactly the opposite of what had been customary for thousands of years. I, a female, wanted to do whatever I felt like doing.

Often, the shame related to making independent, very “American” decisions has led to heartbreaking consequences in some families and particularly for females. These endings are often preceded by children of immigrants desiring to adapt to American society while balancing Indian roots. These endings are also preceded by parents quickly becoming disillusioned as they begin to see the land of milk and honey for what it really is. Sometimes, it doesn’t receive families with open arms or flowing vats of opportunity. It is a place that takes far more than it can ever offer – hopes, time, a longing for family back home, culture and many, many tears. But above all things, it wants their children the most.

Some might believe I write to shame my family, and in essence, the Indian community, as we’re a highly collectivistic society. And in fact, allowing a look into the private lives of a collectivistic society is like waiting to be exiled. However, I write because if I don’t, relationships may be broken forever and families may be destroyed. Lives may potentially be lost.

I was once watching a video of author, Arundhati Roy, advocating for the rights of the most vulnerable of India. After it ended, I scrolled down to read words of praise for her efforts and her work of fiction, God of Small Things, which clings close to the often unspoken truths of India. But as I continued to scroll I saw far more comments addressing Ms. Roy with vile, demeaning adjectives and even death threats written by brutish men raised to despise females, to view us as nothing more than insentient things to be assaulted of body and spirit to their liking.

I don’t doubt opposition. Some might even say I shouldn’t be allowed to share my accounts of Indian culture, maybe that I should be banned. I should know where my place is. I should be silent.

And this is precisely why I write.

 

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28 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. You are a brave person to stand firm in your beliefs. There is only ONE judge I know about and this judge is NOT mortal. I hope your willingness to share your message lightens the emotions on your heart. Your are clearly a kind person who cares deeply about people. Follow the path your destined to follow; some may disapprove while others will experience an awareness that will profoundly affect their lives.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Wow Patty, hmm I guess those Indian movies I watched growing up were more of fiction than non fiction then. Well, write on girl this is your temple. Any can read or chose not to, but none except you of course, can write herein without your permission… I am a vivid reader of authenticity

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for a very moving post, Patty! My therapist, Arun, is originally from India. He’s now and then mentioned over the years some of the same issues as you raise.

    It’s quite disturbing how vocal the internet misogynists are, to understate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Paul. Yes, it’s so disheartening, and sadly a reflection of the behavior that takes place. The heinous crimes against women that are dismissed in parts of India and other countries are heartbreaking. Thanks so much for sharing and for taking the time to read!

      Like

  4. you’re a brave women of india …..ur words touching me….inspite of happening these all kinds of things,yet i dream about india to become an optimistic and freedom specially women empowerments ….and this will happen when women shows intrest to fight with everything….from politics to supime court.
    i inspired with your thoughts,force and action …saddiest part for me bcoz it’s all happening in my own india where all kinds of rights have received to all citizen….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your support, Vishal! I am so thankful for kind and loving people such as yourself! It means so much to hear your voice of protest against the brazen inequality that exists in our culture. Thanks for your inspiring words!

      Liked by 1 person

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