I’ll Prove Mummy Wrong Yet!
Mummy always said become a doctor, and if not that, at least an engineer.
Only, I was a daydreamer. No, not a Newtonian daydreamer, who would see gravity in falling apples, but a Carroll-esque daydreamer, who saw creatures going down rabbit holes! Mummy, as you can imagine, was not happy.
But daydreams can lead you to interesting places, and writing took me travelling around the world (or at least around Europe on a scholarship). It found me Sid with whom love bloomed over emails; and it got me writing my own travel blog to inspire more Indians to fearlessly travel around the world.
But daydreams also hit roadblocks. Living across cultures as a travel writer is all well and good if you only have yourself to look after. It is harder if you are trying to raise kids and need a 9 to 5 to provide for them.
One of the hardest aspects of settling into Australian life for me has been trying to find that elusive voice that speaks to Australians. It is a long uphill task to learn the local lingo, history, references, culture and humour. It doesn’t help that the increasingly global world of social media so easily lets me slip into other, more familiar worlds. It also doesn’t help that one of my sisters lives in Chicago, the other in Paris and Mum and Dad in India, leaving me constantly suspended across different time zones and countries.
And Australia itself, being so diverse with worlds within worlds jostling for space, creates a new dilemma when it comes to settling in — Where do I even start? Do I start with the Canberra-obsessed newspapers? Do I start in my hipster-dominated neighbourhood and its obsession with the perfect latte? Can I really call myself Australian if I don’t get Tim Winton’s Cloudstreet? Does falling in love with Tsiolkas’ The Slap count for something? If I promise to watch every episode of Q&A for the next five years, would I then become more Australian?
Carving out my niche in yet another country while raising a family has its challenges, but I haven’t given up on being a daydreamer and writer yet. As I search for answers, I get by writing marketing copy by day and weaving fictional and non-fictional tales by night.
Mummy, you said become a doctor, but I might prove you wrong yet!