I remember growing up with a bunch of people who had very similar backgrounds and very dissimilar tastes. But every now and then you would meet someone who would love the same weird things you love and the spark would be lit. After that you could argue and disagree about a thousand things, but that common thread will keep you together. Unless of course, you grow up. I should probably switch the term ‘grow up’ with ‘grow old’, considering I am growing pretty old. And so are you, so shut up!
Once you grow old, you start noticing that your chaddi buddies have political and racial views that have hardened like the lines under their eyes. Of course everyone is entitled to their opinion, but it sure stings a little when it takes so much longer to get your point across. Just across, not even agreed upon. It is probably because you are reading different stuff, watching different stuff and moving in different circles.
And then you have the non PC desi version of the same comments that you would have anywhere else in the world. The version that paints over anything from gay marriage to jokes about 9/11 in the same gaudy opaque color that we paint over our eyes as we overlook serious problems as cultural norms. More raucous laughter, less questions.
And just like people oppressed by their respective cultures ran away to the new world, I find myself running to San Francisco…the newest of worlds. Barely 240 years old and full of hope. Because here we can do it all: respect the past, usher in the future and actually live in the present.
And if my American upbringing by this American city feels too alien to you, you can always say that the grapes are sour.