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Whenever we visit India, we prefer to travel on trains in order to see the countryside and listen to fellow pa engers talk about their changing nation. On one such trip, we chatted with a young couple...
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On one of my recent visits in India, I was desperate to eat "phuchka". While my father shook his head in dismay at the prospect of contracting digestive disorders, my mother laughed and encouraged me to seek out my friends for the adventure. Every phone call ended in disappointment. No one wanted phuchka or egg rolls or momos; instead, they came up with the best pizza and burger places in town.
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When people leave their country for foreign shores, they carry with them an image of the country. Years later, when they return or visit their homeland, they often find a disconnect between the image of the country in their mind and the reality of it. How they respond to the gap between expectation and reality can make or break their bond with the friends and family they visit.
Before leaving for the United States as a graduate student, I had never lived outside Kolkata. As a new graduate student in Florida, I experienced India's diversity for the first time. What I write next is my personal experience.