Missing India and its Mountains
Remembering weekend getaways to the hills in India and how I wish my European friends knew.
The picture is a WhatsApp forward, a throwback, and probably an edit. But the place is still the same.
Looking at it took me back to the time when I would visit with my parents to Vaishno Devi, a Hindu pilgrim destination in India. Being from the north of India, going to the mountains was the most common getaway for a middle-class family to escape city life. My dad loved the mountains. An eight-hour drive from Delhi to Manali was my dad’s favorite drive, while I would get dizzy as we drove up to the mountains.
My younger brother and I craved to see the beaches some day. After a few years, we finally took a trip to the south of India, which felt like a completely different world. My family and I (me, at the time - not presently) were vegetarian and the variety of seafood would perplex us. At some point, my younger brother ended up asking the waiter of a restaurant, “Is this water pure veg?”
Fast forward to today, my heart sinks when I look at the same breathtaking picture. Because it reminds me of the stereotypes I hear today as an Indian girl in Europe. Usually, I take questions in stride and explain them in the best way possible. But today is just one of those days when I feel the hurt and don’t want to address the stereotypical questions, and just have to suck it up. And perhaps vent out in this blog post that you’re reading. Here are a few questions I’ve answered a hundred times, and probably I still will, gladly. Just that sometimes I don’t want to.
“Oh, you’re from India. Welcome to the mountains.”
“Is it the first time you’re seeing snow?”
“India is so hot.”
I just keep staring at the picture.
*** Since the picture is a WhatsApp forward, please share this blog post so that it can reach the original photographer of the picture. I'd love to give credits.