I was born and raised in the United States. Due to my American passport, I had the opportunity to travel the world without having to work much for visas, and though my parents and I fought a lot growing up, I never grew up worrying about money. This gave me the opportunity to live a life of travel, largely by teaching online, for various virtual companies, and during this time, I grew the courage to write.
These two people standing in this photo are my parents. The man next to me is my father, the woman next to me is my mother, and they did their best to raise me in an Indian-style American household. They are both doctors. Due to their hard work, I grew up with a life of luxury.
I grew up somewhat isolated. In the United States, houses are quite distant from each other, and my parents were born and brought up in another culture. They associated at times with their work-related friends or other neighbors who were Telegu, but largely kept to themselves. My parents were so busy with work that my grandparents came from Mysore to help raise me. We were culturally different from the people around us, so my classmates never made the effort to get to know me. I didn’t end up making many friends, so I became accostumed to talking to myself and living in my head. Over time, I grew a strong desperation to leave. I really had no desire to stay at the place where I was born and raised.
People of one culture who are born and raised in a culture are usually completely different from both of them. They usually take aspects from both of the cultures and combine them to create a logic of their very own. In my opinion, Indian origin children from other countries are a little different even from other bicultural people. Their characteristics are not the products of any nation, but often a mixture from their mother or father.
India is the land of my origin, but the United States gave me a good education, resources, and opportunities. They both made me who I am, but I don’t fit into either. The experience of going to a foreign country can change anyone. Because I have traveled and lived in so many countries, I believe my way of thinking has completely changed. Over time I am learning to accept myself as a foreigner. My nation only has one citizen, and it is me. If I learn to accept this country as my own, I will always be alone, but then I won’t force myself to be like a person from the United States or India, Japan or Mexico. I accept myself as only Kiran Subrahmanya Bhat, the son of Subrahmanya and Annapurna. I accept myself for me.