Winter 2013 was the first of my visits to India. Among my arrival I suddenly became enchanted by the country. Then I thought, perhaps I was intrigued because I finally got to see where my husband came from.
India literally became my true love. Though at the time, it being the second place I have ever traveled to, there was a charm to the country I had yet to discover.
India is a place completely opposite to the orderly and structured environment of the States. They say you either love or hate it. The pace of the country is quite chaotic but once you harmonize with its tune, hidden lessons begin to unfold.
It's a place deeply rooted with culture, religion, and a past that ranks amongst one of the oldest civilizations on earth.
"My husband is lucky" I thought. His past is full, abundant with vibrant color, the kind that stains so strongly to a sheet of fabric. The kind that will never fade away.
My stay in India was short, but by the end of the trip it felt as though it had only began. I don't think I would ever truly feel at home, but neither did I feel the same living as a second generation Hmong in the US.
As I ventured west to a smaller village, I began to sense something familiar. The rice paddy's of Achanta were the playgrounds where my husband would venture to during long Indian summers spent at his grandparents.
The vast green rice fields and deeply rooted coconut forest struck a faint lullaby long forgotten. "Have I been here before" I thought as the warm breeze embraced me with nostalgia. It felt like a place perhaps in dreams, a memory from past lives buried from rebirth. Frighten to be forgotten, it knocked at all my senses urging to be remembered.
"Yes, I have been here before" I stood there in thought. Though I could not recall, I did once know. What laid before me was only a portrayal of a place nor have I seen or ever been to before. "Yes" I remembered. It was a tale told from both my parents of a far off, almost fairy tale like, land. "It's embedded into your DNA" they would always say.
But as I stood there with all my might to remember, there was just nothing, only a ghostly whisper in the wind. It was a long lost land wanting to be remembered, and what laid before me was what I could only imagine it to be.
India is a foreign land to me but with all it's beauty brought forth a place I too shall never forget. For that, I can say with confidence, is the reasoning for my true love.
Some day I hope to re-unite with the place of my own origin- Laos. For now though- I will embrace my excitement over India as it is destined to be painted and absorbed onto the next pages of my story.
See you soon sweet land.