Love Does Not Know About Borders
Have you ever heard someone to say “Life takes many turns”? I’m sure you did. In my case, my life has taken a pretty big turn, so big that it moved me from my native Argentina to India: 15,925 kilometers away.
I moved to India in May of 2015 following what my heart was feeling. Is that, I did not move for work or study, I did it to be with who today is my husband.
There are many crazy stories, mine was born in 2012 and yes … thanks to Facebook! It was not easy to maintain a relationship with this distance (and for 3 years) but we were determined to be together.
On May 23, 2015, he was waiting for me at the Calcutta airport. I remember seeing him through the glass with his hand making signs for let me know that he was there and I automatically smiled at him. I wanted to go running to hug him and kiss him but I was already aware that this would not be possible. That was the first change I had to make: nothing of affectionate demonstrations in public.
The decision to move was not easy knowing everything I was going to leave but for policy issues of my country at that time, he could not go so we only had two options: end the relationship or pack my bags.
“You’re crazy,” my family said. “Can not you fall in love with someone who lives closer?” My friends told me, between a mixture of laughter and seriousness. By my side, I was not complete and, forcedly, they understood it.
Arriving, the first impact was very big. Many people everywhere, a lot of noise (permanently), nobody spoke English and did not understand why everyone honks equally at the same time. Without stop pressing it, without stop doing it, without sense.The street was shared by cars, motorcycles, pedestrians, tuc-tuc (moto-taxi) and trash … a lot of trash. I felt that there was not a concept of space as I knew it in my country, and that is with more than 1240 million inhabitants in India, you hardly feel that there is space.
It has taken me a little more than a year to get used to the noise and crowding, something that a Hindu would probably not understand for obvious reasons. But I was determined to leave prejudices behind, I knew I needed time and let everything flow.
I forced myself to fight against my mental barriers every day and I knew that this was the perfect opportunity to take another step towards that supposed mental openness with which I struggled so much. India represented a challenge in every way.
I have decided to take the reins of the problem (my adaptation) and put myself in a situation where I had no choice but to learn or learn. This is how I ended up learning to cook Indian food, I changed all my clothes, I learned to bargain prices (ok, yes … I did it sometimes), respect a schedule to sleep at night, (I still have some problems with the language) and my eating habits.
In India, they undress me of rules. They undress me of preconceived ideas, of everything I once thought was “good”, “bad”, “acceptable”, “necessary”, “inappropriate”. Eating the rice with my hands, without utensils and that I can feed myself without any other problem than having my dirty hands, made me think how necessary are the ornaments that we put on our daily tasks (or I placed) and even how bad it can be to have little dirty hands, before my unsuccessful attempts to clean them, in a country where table napkins and toilet paper are a luxury, without knowing that I reconsidered the “need” to eat 4 times a day, even when my body does not ask for it, especially being in front of so much hunger out there.
Now married and residing in India, Roxana is a writer and teacher who often gives talks on Argentina. Born and raised in Argentina, Roxana joined Internationally Known in July 2016.