The citizenship dilemma

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Kiama is a township 120 kilometres south of Sydney in Illawarra, New South Wales.

After 3 and a half years in Sydney and Australia, I finally decided to accept my Australian citizenship.

It felt right – India is my home and where my heart will always be but Australia is where I found myself.

Of course there are the obvious reasons: dual citizenship and travel access around the world (I won’t require a visit visa in most countries).

Travelling and living in a new country is a profound experience if one can live through it.

It is lonely, daunting, almost mind-boggling but it is also liberating, exhilarating and transforming.

I am very happy that I have managed to survive through it.

Mumbai and now Sydney are two places I can call home.

Most importantly, I feel at home within myself, no matter where I am, or will be.

Was Slumdog really Millionaire?

A publicity still from Slumdog Millionaire

Jai ho, bring it on, Slumdog Millionaire.

Yes, its absolute and resounding triumph speaks for itself. Stamped by Golden Globe and Oscar wins, Slumdog Millionaire has definitely achieved what no film did before. It put India on the world map, penetrating millions of hearts across the world. It narrated a simple love story with an unmistakable Indian emotion that transcended global boundaries. It won international recognition for some sparkling Indian talent.

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Sydney Diary… Vocab, winter coats and travels

A great place to walk about, meet up for a drink or grab dinner.

A great place to walk about, meet up for a drink or grab dinner.

“How are you going?” someone asked me my first week at work. I wondered why: “Umm, I will be getting the bus back home.”

“No, no, I mean, how are you doing…?”

“Err, oh ok, well, I am fine, thank you!” I mumbled.

That was my first lesson out of the Aussie vocabulary book. There were others.

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Sydney… love at first flight

My first impressions of Sydney, so picturisque and stunning!

My first impressions of Sydney, so picturisque and stunning!

I landed in Sydney for the first time on Monday, January 15, 2007. Now this may sound weird but “we” connected instantly from Day 1. Sydney had this amazing positive vibe going for me. The airport terminal felt familiar, I bought a phone card and walked out towards the cab stop like it was a routine.

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Am I Aussie enough… or does the Indian linger?

This picture was around my first drive around 2-3 months into Sydney with my friend Kate.

After 2 years as a “Permanent Resident” in Sydney, I am now eligible to apply for my Australian citizenship if I wish to, which for all practical reasons, is a wonderful thing. The waiting period has now been extended to four years. I was among the lucky few who made it to the finishing line just before the rules were changed.

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