I have been thinking about writing a blog for a very long time now. I have tried a thousand times to sit down and start typing it out, but I have always found some apprehension and fear in doing so. Would writing out the story of my life for everyone to see make it less meaningful? Will my attempts at self-representation come off as contrite or hollow? God knows I am not a talented writer like many of my bloggers friends. I fear that the depth of my experiences and my feelings cannot be adequately expressed into words. These fears have kept me from attempting to even try, until now. There is something about the human experience that pushes us to share. There are some who write, others who paint, sculpt, knit, dance, sing or a million other forms of self-expression. We want to be heard and seen and felt. We have a natural need to connect with others. This need for self-expression is what drives me today to finally set my fingers on the keyboard of my laptop and to finally start typing out my story.
My name is Tina. I am 26, a wife and a mother. I am a humanitarian, a feminist, a world traveler and I am married to an Indian man. The term Indian really says nothing about who my husband is. India is country made of hundreds of cultures and languages, so the term only describes a geographical location and even that is very diverse from place to place. I am married to a Punjabi Sikh, an identity my husband is very proud of. Six years ago when I was studying Political Science in college I met my future husband. I was sitting at my desk outside of the student dorms checking in guests and listing to music. I made conversation with my co-worker, who I had just met. I asked him what type of music he liked. I remember when he spoke he had an accent. I knew that he was Indian but at the time I knew close to nothing about India, outside of my international economics class and what I could remember from my 9th grade world civilization lessons. I did not know at that moment that my life would change forever. Talking to him was the easiest thing I have ever done. We connected in that instant, as if we were meant for each other. (I will write more about the beginnings of our life together in later pieces).
Of all the words I could use to define myself, I choose masala. Masala is a term in Punjabi and other Indian languages to mean “mix” specifically a mixture of spices. Cooking is a cornerstone of Punjabi culture, and each dish is passed down for generations. In reality they are works of art, the perfect balance of sweet and savory and sour and spicy. The masalas are what makes the dishes unique and colorful and aid in digestion. The Masala, the mixture, is what keeps life delicious! My life has always been “Masala”, long before I knew what the term meant. Long before I met and married my husband and was introduced into the Indian culture. Long before my sweet “masala baby” was born and truly combined my husband and my genes and cultures into one beautiful human being. I have always lived a Masala life. It has not always been beautiful or perfect, sometimes is has been quite bitter, other times colorful, and many times sweet. This blog is where I will share a glimpse into my Masala life and family. I am not an expert in inter-cultural relations, nor do I know everything about India. I am simply sharing my perspective on life, which is ever so humble. So welcome and I hope you enjoy.