Mysore is the place that my grandmother calls home. It has been my gate of entry point to India since 1995. I consider it a second home. It is known for its history as the seat of the capital of the Mysore Empire, the great home of the Wodeyars, and the Mysore Palace, one of the architectural beauties of India. I consider it largely the place my family goes once a year to and chills. Since I’ve started traveling, I’ve started making Mysore more and more of a base.

Whenever I think of Mysore, I think of my grandmother, who is the reason why I speak my mother tongue. I think of Kannada, a language which I am naturally drawn to as a Kannadiga, but know s a foreigner. I think of my cousins, who are actually spread all over the Dakshin Kannada coast, Bangalore, and go even as far away to cities like Birmingham or Seattle. I think of eating bhel puri with my grandmother’s sister, about the winding roads of Kuvempu Nagar, about reading VS Naipaul at 17 in a relative’s house, about sitar lessons which ended nowhere, chocolate ice cream cakes, and gossiping with the household help.

In other words, I imagine a lifetime, which was numerically short, and yet fills me more than most memories of the USA do.