And the trains are always late.
Where I come from, McDonald’s gives free ketchup, and my grandma collects packets of oregano that come with pizza delivery.
Where I come from, people die of hunger, and of obesity.
Where I come from, there is always noise. People yelling, laughing, crying.
Here, there is silence.
Here, it is rude to use the car horn, and there is never any reason to.
Here, I catch the 12.27 Train at 12.27, and not at half past three.
Here the cows are fat, and wear bells that tinkle.
They graze in green fields on the mountainsides, and not out of garbage heaps on the sides of busy roads.
Where I come from, people are always curious.
Every new face is met with a million questions.
Where do you come from? What do you parents do? What do you speak? Are you an only child? Why? Did your mother get the operation?
Where I come from, there is no such thing as personal space.
There are no “things-you-can’t-talk-about”, for everyone has something to say.
Where I come from, people put you in boxes: a language, a state, a religion, a caste.
Here, different is normal.
An Indian teenager in a sea of white, black, brown, yellow faces?
Here, there are no million questions, no screeching breaks.
Here, no traffic jams due to birthing cows or marriage processions.
Here, no noise and colour and smell that you’ve been born to love.
Like there is, where I come from.
Kavya is a second year M.A. student. A starry eyed, noisy, spoken word poet. A dreamer, believer, lover of jazz and storybooks.