An Ode to My Second Home

Des Rangila. Colorful land. Ever since I learned them, these are the words that I have associated most with India. Though I was born in the heartland of Kansas, India has always felt as much a part of me as the red, white, and blue that supposedly flows through my veins. As a kid, I grew up dreaming of this beautiful place where women floated through the streets in the beautiful saris collecting dust in my mother’s closet. I arrived in India for the first time as a tiny three-year-old hiding in my mother’s skirts, suffering from motion sickness the entire plane ride over. I barely remember the blur of relatives I met throughout that visit. But I clearly remember the feeling of being inundated by the colors – seemingly everywhere in every detail. The bright pastels of the balloons my uncle gave me against the bright, imposing façade of the Narasimha temple we visited in Tirupati. The comforting hum of chit chatting family members in Telugu over chai on the veranda. The striking combination of colors in the dupattas and churidars that women wore in the street. These fleeting glimpses of India would stay with me.