Thursday, August 4, 2011

Sassy and Americanized

There is some serious cross pollination going on between America and India in N's family. They are too Americanized to be fully Indian and too Indian to be fully American. (Of course cultural cross pollination is the essence of what it means to be Californian today).

Back in 1960, before even my father had come to the USA, and years before N was born, N's mother, a mere 11 year old at the time, was brought to Washington DC by her parents. Her father came to work at the Indian embassy for the PL480 program, AKA "food for peace", to help in the sending of grain from the USA to India. 11 to 16 is an important part of a young person's life, and DC in the early 60s was an exciting time.

She was surrounded by world politicians during those years, and back in those days, the system was open enough that you could meet them. She was present for the inauguration of JFK (you know, with the famous line "ask not what your county can do for you...."). She met Nehru and Indira Ghandi during a visit.... Here is the picture.

Her family cried when JFK was shot a couple of years later, and even waited in line to see the casket, but they had even more to mourn, as Nehru died soon before.

She went to school with the son of the secretary of state, and even worked with LBJ's two daughters, who I've learned were very "nice". Here she met Robert Kennedy.

(Wow, she's like Forrest Gump, but really smart!)

N's uncle was born in the USA, right before the family moved back to India. Years later, N's brother was born in India before they moved to the USA. So, the family has an American from birth with an Indian accent, and an Indian from birth with an American accent. Her uncle could even run for president and be the first president with an Indian accent.

After N's mother moved back to India, she married. Imagine his surprise when he learned that his new bride was all sassy and Americanized.

We went to see the house that N's mother lived at, and it is still there.

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