The New York Times is running an interesting series entitled “the Next Wave on what they call, “the transplanted New Yorker.” Profiling the stories of 10 different transplants, obviously one had to be brown.
The brown portrait was written by photographer Sanjna Singh, who writes about the voyage she made one summer from her home on the Upper East Side to the man-made India in the Jackson Heights section of Queens. Sanjna’s portrait is interesting as it contrasts the modernity, if you can call it that, of Indians living in India to the self-made constraints of tradition that many immigrants from South Asia bring with them into the diaspora. Sanjna, who immigrated to New York from New Delhi about eight years ago, labels her reaction to this phenomenon aptly, as “being in the grip of a bizarre reverse culture-shock.”
She notes later,
“here in New York, I didn’t think of myself as an immigrant, because for me, the door leading back to Delhi seemed wide open, and I could return anytime I chose. Yet as I entered my eighth year in America, I was forced to recognize that this open door grew more illusory with each passing year. As I drifted further from my own country, I started to feel the need to grant space to my Indian self, right here, in New York.”