It was quarter to 9:00 am in the morning and as usual, I was standing at the bus stop. Cold breeze was sending shivers down my spine. I pulled the hood on my jacket tighter and snuggled my daughter closer. November, December, January, February, March . I let out a deep sigh as I realized that we have to struggle in this cold climate for 5 more months). Children and their parents were gathering slowly.Some children were oblivious to this weather and they were chatting, laughing and playing. Some, like my daughter, were standing close to their parents. There were around 30 children with their parents waiting for the school bus.
I was able to hear bits and pieces of conversation in my native language(Telugu which is one of the Indian languages) amidst the chaos.
“Chaalaa chaligaa undi. Cap pettuko “ ( It’s cold. Put on your cap).
“Nannna, Bye” (Daddy, bye)
“Nenu ivala Work from home chestunna (I’m working from home today).
Most of the parents were Moms who just finished their early morning marathon race of getting kids ready to school. Almost of the ladies were dressed in Salwar kameez (Indian traditional dress) with thick winter jackets. Few Dads who came to drop their children at bus stop were all set to go to work and were waiting for the school bus to send their children off to school. As the bus arrived, the children got into the bus one by one and the parents waved good bye to their children.
This scene where the parents give send off to their children at the bus stop is same everywhere. What makes this one so peculiar is that I recently moved to a community in the United States where there are around 300 apartments, 99% of which are occupied by Indian families. Out of those Indian families, around 200 families are from my native state. So, whenever I go to the bus stop to drop and pick my daughter, I am overwhelmed by seeing so many people from my native state. It’s like I’m back in my homeland except for the climate. Here in this city, it’s extremely cold in winter whereas in my homeland, it’s always hot. I have been in the United States for a couple of years but I never stayed in a place where there were so many Indians. So, I feel as if I’m in “Mini India”. In one way, it’s good to be part of this huge Indian Community but in the other way, I miss blending with the native people in the United States.