I Was Born on the Silk Road

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“I cannot imagine physically stepping out of Florida.” The words of my fellow classmate rang in my head. I could not fathom the thought of staying in one place; this seemed too foreign and strange to comprehend, as though it was against my nature, my identity. My mind and body have been in motion throughout my life; flowing, and changing as I grew up in India, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and America. Each holds a foothold in my identity, without complete immersion in any. The motions in my life-helped shape my perspective, behavior, and beliefs but most importantly, it made me realize my identity is an ever-shifting stream of energy. It is built upon a process of imitation, innovation and challenges from a multicultural compilation of observations and reflections. Consequently, remaining in one place is against my nature. My foundation and roots spread across the world, all of which I have an endeavor to someday call home.
I often like to say I was born on the Silk Road. Similar to this ancient phenomenon, my identity grew upon the cultural transmission routes across the world by accepting the gifts of its trade. My journey upon the road sources itself on the coast of the Yamuna Rivers, in a town named Aligarh. My passport undeniably marks me as Indian, and I am named as such wherever I go, yet India isn’t the first picture in my mind when I think of the comforts of home, yet it is still a part of me. It’s a gateway to my ancestors, religious customs, celebrations, social practices and beliefs. In essence, when I want to look closer within myself I often reflect off the fruits of trade upon which my Indian background has blessed me. Noteworthy are the folk tales of my esteemed Rajput ancestors that my grandmother whispered in m...

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...e few to even fathom the thought of a life of passion. I understood why everyone felt as though she had other choices, they imagined her to have the same options as the women today in their society have. They looked at her life in the perspective of the third generation of feminism. But that generation hasn’t arrived in this novel, or in many places of the developing world I’ve lived in. I couldn’t have come to the same conclusion if I had been immersed completely in the societies of both the modern and developing societies. My insight into patriarchy was molded through my experiences and similarly most of the comprehensions of the cultural barriers I face are molded when the different ideologies of my roots come together only to clash. The adversity of it all however is only the initiation of an explosion of epiphanies that build upon my soul to make me who I am.

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