Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A place called home

Indian writer and publisher Urvashi Butalia says there's nothing wrong with bringing the diaspora home. All over the world, immigrants have wanted to maintain contact with the land of their birth: sometimes this takes a cultural form, and sometimes it's economic. Sometimes it can be as fleeting as the memories of a holiday in a ‘place I call home’. For me - recollections of a recent visit to India: the twisting alleyways; the quaint little shops bedecked with the most exquisite threads and tapestries; the sights and sounds of wedding season (December) in Mumbai, these always have me pining for more. Am I in love with the real India, or do I just dream of an ideal ‘homeland’ that doesn’t exist?

Today, it is Tuesday. I rush out to the gate to fetch my copy of the Eastern Express. The headline grabs my attention: India opens its door to SA professionals. Bharat bulaya hai, mere dost! (India is calling, my friend!) Problem yeh hain I've got a piece of my heart in Africa too.