I had met my father a few times, but I didn’t know him well; any stories about him were told to me by my mother – needless to say, they were not of the most flattering quality – still, I’m certain she painted such a picture of him in an effort to end my inquiries.
So when my father came back into my life after nearly 20 years, offering a trip to India on a silver platter, I didn’t hesitate for too long before accepting his invitation. You see, unlike the majority of my friends in New York, I was six months into the real world and on the brink of an inevitable quarter-life crisis: I remained jobless, apartment-less and boyfriend-less. I had more to give than I had to lose. I couldn’t think of any better time to go to my mother country and find myself.
And so, I did find myself – that is, on a 14-hour flight across the world, with an appetite for self-realization so insatiable that I was willing to explore my roots with an estranged man who thinks love comes in an annual diamond necklace-and-earring gift set.
I went to India to find out what really happened between my mother and my father, to try and rid of my most prevalent vices, to figure out the kind of Indian girl I wanted to be. I wanted to bring this girl home with me and indubitably live her life.
Because at this point, I had become one of those neo-Tibetan hipsters living in New York. I sometimes found it difficult to relate to my white friends, but what was even more trying was attempting to blend in with the Indian ones.
My skin was whiter than it was brown, and it was a curryous thing.