It was the next year that I noticed some change in the treatment we received when we came home. We were no longer in the “Indians” waiting line when we awaited our baggage. Instead, we were made to sit with Whites, blacks, and Orientals in the lounge labelled “foreigners”. Mom wasn’t at all happy with this. She kept telling papa that we should be given different treatment as we were born of this soil, while the poor man patiently tried to explain to her that in order to enjoy the benefits of being citizens of America, we must accept the fact that we aren’t Indians anymore.
Why this happened, I did not, and still do not understand. Ever since this episode, during our annual visit, she used to cry herself to sleep the first few days. I thought it unnecessary and showed no sympathy to her, and even rebuked her for the same on a few occasions.
This year, no one accompanied me on my yearly visit. I came alone, traveled my city alone, and left alone. And yes, I cried, finally understanding how my mother felt. I cried for having lost my grandmother. For having lost my homeland. For being treated a foreigner here as well as there. For not having the courage to come back. For being so materialistic.For being lost between two worlds, both of which I cannot rightfully call my own.