I always get that question. And I find it hard to answer. Oh no, not because I don’t know where I am from. Just because people confuse me further.
I was born in India. But when I was four, we shifted to the UAE. And that is where I stayed till I was 17. Finished school and went to India for higher education. Finished my Masters and now I am back in the UAE.
So every time I am asked that question, I launch into a big 500-or-more-words-essay-type-answer of telling them how I was born in India, raised in UAE and then did my higher education in India and now am working in the UAE.
And that is usually followed by… “I meant country” and “Am I talking to a crazy person” look.
So when we were young, my dad made sure we took our annual vacations in India. So vacations there were spent by our cousins telling us, “So, Dubai returned kids, don’t like the weather here, and don’t like the water here…eh?” And poor me, all of 10 would answer it by saying, “Why do you say this, I AM from India, I just live there, that’s it.”
In college, during our introduction, I identified myself as from India and then one professor mentioned this… young lady, aren’t you from the Arab world. No I am not, I just lived there. I am from India. No use, they all kept referring to me as the Indi-Arab.
Now, what raises that question…the color of my skin, the way I dress, my accent, my bright jazzy Mojris (the most comfortable footwear ever!) or just plain curiosity. Not that I hate answering it, just that the question implies that it should be answered by one country and that is just not possible anymore.
So maybe I look like a Pakistani, maybe my habits are Arab, maybe my likes are Indian, but I keep thinking… should I, just should I just show them my passport? I mean…technically.
Had trouble answering the question? Born here, lived there, and worked elsewhere and totally from all the way over there? Isn’t the world just a huge, huge thing!