The question may be simple to articulate but the answer, surely never that simple. Diasporic literature seeks to explore and answer this in its many forms. Post-colonial theories try to understand the behaviour of the colonised and the colonisers. I don’t need to however think of the history, the geography, and the various opinions and views: when asked the question, forgetting my many characters in the stories I’ve written, forgetting my words in my own poems, let me try to answer.
But in trying to answer, I find it is easier to ask more questions. Another country, a foreign country? For how long does it remain ‘another country’? Will it always be so, even if you have lived a significant part of your adult life? Have had children and are raising children in this other country? Even if you speak the language? Does the country of birth always mean more than the country you live in? maybe even die in? Are the ties with this other country, meant to be as easy to sever as easily as a climber’s thin roots, easily uprooted, growing elsewhere? Is the family you are born into always more important than the family you have created? And is it that impossible that you can love both fiercely.
Read more in Setu.