With all it’s thrills and surprising reel of events, travelling can be a pain in the ass; especially, when you have a Kenyan passport, a yellow card and unwanted interrogation from the guy behind the immigration desk. For heaven’s sake, after scrutinising a million NRIs, why is it so difficult to comprehend that circa early 1900s, a horde of Indian nationals did build up the courage to travel across the Indian ocean to work and settle in a beautiful country called Kenya. And no, it wasn’t to denounce their love for our motherland, instead I think of it as mass outbreak of a serious case of curious and opportunity (our magnetic pull).
I’m a third generation Gujrati Kenyan whose lineage embodies the history of the Indian diaspora in East Africa. I’m born of the blood that takes pride in merciless dedication, iron-willed faith and unshakable conviction. I’m a Mhindi- a name given to us by the locals which translates into “from the country of India”. This is something I’ve been pondering over a lot, especially since I’m sitting at my parents’ home in Mombasa- my birthplace, my identity.
Despite the mini rant here, I’m not going to bore you with even pretending to have identity issues (thank god). I’m perfectly happy to be brought up the way I was- I know it makes me more tolerate towards people, places and world politics. However, I do wish that I could converse in hindi and kiswahili without giving away my third culture upbringing. Or maybe it makes me different *wink*. While I do face a multitude of obstacles while travelling or trying to renew passports or obtain visas, I feel incredibly lucky to be able to have two culture-rich countries I call home. I might even be adding another destination to this list *fingers crossed*.
For now, while I’m here to get some official work done, I’m also enjoying evening strolls at Mombasa beach (I spent my entire childhood here), culinary advantages of having mum and some serious seafood around, spending time with the parents and basically just chilling (my favourite word when people ask me what I’m upto) till life hands out a chance card that says “Advance to Dubai, if you pass “GO” collect $1000000″.
How chill would that be, right?
Also, here are my thoughts about the other time I visited home.
Monday Musings is a series that delves deep into my current frame of mind- the good, bad and crazy.