Readers React to the Indian-American Article: Some Relate and Some Disagree

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BOSTON—Yes, INDIA New England News readers have their own views and strongly reacted to “The Indian American: Neither Here, Nor There; Neither Indian and Nor American” opinion piece published on Aug. 28, 2020. The article was written by Sudhir Ranjan of Lexington, MA.

Here are some comments by our readers from social media and emails. They have been lightly edited for clarity.

In case you want to read the Indian American article, please click here or on the headline below:

The Indian American: Neither Here, Nor There; Neither Indian and Nor American

Here are the comments from our readers:

Is it that desolate? So lonely? So disjointed from the community here?. Nice writing style. Dark, though.

–Prashanth Palakurti

Wonderful way of expressing an Indo-American life. Embrace the humanity and be happy.

–Kailash Chanduka

“You can’t go home again”- and I have a somewhat unique perspective. My parents came to Boston in the late 1960s and retired in India. They left Wellesley to go back to a country they didn’t recognize anymore, despite going there every year.

They were here last summer and were so happy to be back. Turns out it wasn’t the place at all, but spending lots of time with their granddaughter. “A third generation Bostonian” Indian American who also loves snow, lobster and dosas (perhaps together someday).

The actual place doesn’t really matter. Neither does the food or the weather. Family, friends and being connected to a community is much bigger.

— Durjoy Ace Bhattacharjya

Durjoy Ace Bhattacharjya. thanks for modeling correct use of “3rd generation.” As an immigrant ie someone who made the active choice to become American, I’m always slightly disappointed when “1st generation” is used to describe the child of immigrants rather than the immigrants themselves.

Also, I commend the notion of a lobster dosa as a New England winter treat. Being Indian American ought to connote – in contrast to this article – “fully both, at home here and there.”

–Archan Basu

Sudhir Ranjan, not clear on your message. So what are we supposed to do? Are we supposed to forget all about India? To have no feelings left for it? To avoid Bollywood and Hindi Movies? Avoid Indian Food and Music? Not have Indian Friends?

For First generation Indian Immigrants, it is unavoidable that they will have part of them that is still Indian. It may be quite different for the children born and brought up in the USA.

And for first generation Indians, I see no conflict in wanting the best for the USA and for India as well. The two are large democracies, with many common interests — which will probably push the two closer over the coming decades.

— Pravin Mundkur

Sudhir Ranjan, I do respect your thoughts but like Pravin said it is hard to forget India -Indian music and Western music too. Yoga and meditation came from India. My own son Shiv Mundkur is born here in USA and understands people all over the world. He is also connecting Meditation and Music from all cultures. No harm. Also, If somebody speaks against India, I sure feel bad -even though we are US Citizens.

How are we looked as by the mainstream people? Also our kids have no accents. How are they looked at – you will learn like we did. I love USA but love India too, and a friendly President to India -yes I would like that for sure.

–Lata Mundkur

Very true , big confusion.

— Poonam Singh

I don’t see such confusion at all. You can be deeply rooted in your Indian values and culture and come to appreciate American values and culture.

— Varun Khare

Well said.

— Raghav Vijaywargiya

Beautifully penned! Trishanku lives in each one of us.

— Jyoti Arora

Beautifully expressed.

— Neha Joshi

Very well said.

— Shruti Joshi

Well… this is the life we choose… No one is stopping us to be both…we can both be Indian and American at the same time… I do celebrate Thanksgiving with Mutton Kosha and Pulao.. I can drink Lassi and Pizza at the same time.. basically you can be whatever you like.. Just dont judge other people.

— Arka Biswas

There are two aspects to this dilemma. Some see it as a bonus. Our children have values from both continents. We celebrate both sets of holidays with traditions as we remember. We spend sufficient time in India to keep our memories alive and current.

In fact, a sizable number of us, including our grown-up children, have chosen to return to our motherland to work and enjoy the modern India.  Others – which is perhaps a larger majority, have the occasional sense of longing (I hope it is occasional and not recurring) for all the childhood experiences, for missing that sense of belonging.

Fortunately, the technology has made it much easier for us to bridge the gap.

–Neeraj Wadhera

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