Back from India

I returned from my trip to India.  It was wintry, dark and bleak when we landed.  My house felt stark and empty and there was no food.  I struggled to adjust to the cold, the dry heat from the radiators, the need to cook again.

I’m more homesick than usual this time.  It’s growing harder to leave from the many households that I slip into in India.

The India of my memories is filled with noisy warmth and color and food that is startling in flavor.  In reality, when I arrive in Calcutta and take in the smell of the gray smog, and find myself tangled in the snarl of traffic on my way home, and taste the new cook’s mediocre cooking, I wonder what I was missing.  Then I see my grandparents and get enfolded in their warm embrace.  There’s my mother’s beloved face.  Even her two dogs do a customary dance around my heels, as though to say “where were you?” Agastya races through my mother’s house with the dogs.  I can hear his laughter.  My favorite aunt drops by for a visit.   Endless cups of tea steaming with ginger and cardamom arrive on neat little trays.  I cut into wedges of stinky cheese and pile them up on toast with my father at breakfast.  My grandmother’s cook plies me with hot samosas.

The first few mornings are the ones that I treasure the most.  I wake up early and gaze outside the window.  The same trees have grown older and appear a little fuller.  The boys are still asleep.  The air is cool in December and the feeling of being home, of becoming somebody’s child again, wraps around me like a blanket.  I’ve felt this way each time that I’ve returned.  It’s been more than fifteen years since I left.

13 Comments Add yours

  1. Hi Devika,

    Welcome back! I got back from India last week and I can totally relate to your post. Hope you feel less home-sick very soon!


    1. devikakumar says:

      Thank you Anu! I wanted to tell you that i recently read all your posts and loved them…especially the ones of your trip to India and peru before that. I also made gajar ka halwa with my grandmom, and my mom makes dahi toast too! so those posts really resonated with me.

      1. Thanks for reading!

  2. antara says:

    Devika…strikes a chord through and through. U do have a special gift! Glad to have u back – though know that sinking homesickness feeling… hang in there!

  3. antara says:

    btw – finished reading your post above and wanted to read more.. so do share more stories (and recipes) from your trip back home!

  4. Rima says:

    was eagerly waiting for your new post Devika! so beautifully expressed as always.

  5. Krishna says:


    Just read the above blog. You bring out the emotions so beautifully – I feel exactly the same way you do every time I visit India!

    1. devikakumar says:

      Thank you Krishna!

  6. shaanthz says:

    I read your beautifully written post, the comments, and realize that we all feel the same way when we visit India and return….resonates very well with us all. You’ll feel better soon as the life here envelopes you soon.

  7. Anjali says:

    I was so emotional reading this post of yours …. That I actually sobbed …. I am so homesick, haven’t gone back in two years but I am glad I will be seeing my parents and family in less than 2 weeks. Very beautifully written, it touched my heart.

    1. devikakumar says:

      Thank you Anjali…

  8. Priyanka Bansal says:

    I found your blog yesterday, and I must admit it is amazing 🙂

    1. devikakumar says:

      Thank you, Priyanka!

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