In India I am someone. In Singapore I am no one. In India I am defined by the innumerable relationships that I own (and which own me). I am someone’s daughter, someone’s (ex) daughter-in-law, someone’s sister, someone’s maasi, someone’s bua, and list goes on. In Singapore I am no one but Seema. Simple. No-fuss. Straightforward. Just Seema. Accept me like I am. Don’t like me? Well, I really couldn’t give a damn.
Here in Singapore, I don’t bear the responsibility of any relationship. I am not judged by any standards. And I am neither put up on a pedestal or fall from grace for seemingly inconsequential matters. I am simply, L’ll Ms. Anonymous Me.
I can wear my ugly cut shorts and 13 year old Tees and walk to Leisure Park Mall, do my grocer shopping leisurely (no pun intended), stop for a cuppa at Starbucks and take the shuttle bus back- all without being recognized by a single soul (except perhaps the shuttle bus driver).
In India I wear my ugly cut shorts and 13 year old Tees too (like I am right at this moment), but here it’s a transgression. My dad takes objection (not at length- since my weight loss it’s acceptable to wear shorts), but by the fact that they look ugly. My mum does not particularly favor them as it gives the impression I can’t afford expensive, nice-looking clothes. My darling niece is not pleased as they make me look far less pretty (especially as I aspire to compete as her favorite maasi and fail miserably- the shorts so don’t help). And many others for whom the length would most probably be an issue- but know me to well to ever mention it.
In India you carry the cross of every relationship. Each one comes with its own set of expectations and I seem to fall short on all counts. Not living up to them makes me “too arrogant” and “too independent”- when the latter became a bad thing is simply beyond me.
But in India there is TREMENDOUS LOVE. Every time I come here its like I am showered incessantly with so much love that it helps me tide the year to my next visit. But the love does come at the price of expectations. And even though most of them are silent ones, you know they are lingering there. May be if I were my own person in India things would be different, but right now I am just someone.
In Singapore I am no one. I get defined by no relationships- except Sanil’s mum.That’s the ONLY aspect where Singapore rules over India- here I can be L’ll Ms. Anonymous Me.