Indian But American ?!
Before reaching US, both my husband and I had strong desire to talk to our one year old daughter only in our mother tongue. We thought eventually our daughter will be good in atleast two languages, one our mother tongue and two in English when she attends school. Our conviction was over ruled when we landed here. We took her to a common play session and the words that are commonly used here among parents and kids are different from what we explain our daughter at home.
Gains are obvious. We expose our kids to the wide variety of excellent education, perpetual career growth and of course teach them the value of self-worth by giving them freedom to speak and think. Their very being in midst of multi-cultural society grooms them to new heights.
Still there are great many losses too. First and foremost that they will miss is one is peculiar to our Indian culture - extended family with grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins. They are the ones who were around me all the time. I use to leave my daughter at her tender age to my mother or my mother-in-law while I happily sit at my work place just worried about the small piece of code that I need to write and not about how my daughter's basic needs would be satisfied. I bet no one in entire world can make a rasam as tasty as my mother makes or make a corriander sambar as yummy as my mother-in-law makes. Still its not the rasam or sambar that makes me to feel for them, its all the love and affection they have and no where in the world a day care can give such a loving care. Some of my happiest early memories are the times that we spent our summer holidays with my grandmother, aunt, uncle and cousins. I would be just waiting to get a frock stitched by my grandmother. Though its human nature to dream of something that is not there at present I am sure that my kid will miss all the luxury that I had enjoyed while I was kid or later stages in India. We are all too busy here, and family gatherings have to be carefully orchestrated. As they grow older, I fear their excitement or want of meeting their grandparents will fade and they will prefer spending their vacations with their friends here. In my desk I pray for India to give all the strength to face the severe challenges of poverty and illiteracy and communal violence. I pray for us all, here on the other side of the world, who have our own challenges, that we may be able to preserve the values we have gained from our past i.e., love of family, of traditions, of spirituality and the simple life to be combined with what we have learned here, our new destiny i.e., energy and enterprise and how to fight for our rights. This, perhaps, is the best gift that we give our future generation.