Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

Marcus High School's Online Newspaper

The Marquee

House not home

House+not+home

“Mom!”

 

My screams and sobs echoed through the airport security line.

 

“I don’t want to go. Please let me stay.”

 

I became more desperate as I got closer to the end of the line. I gasped between my cries and kept trying to run away. But my grandma held me tighter. My parents’ faces got blurrier as tears blocked my vision.  My parents took me to an unfamiliar place— Andhra Pradesh, India.

 

I was going to be living with my other grandmother there. A week after I arrived I started 1st grade. I entered my classroom expecting it to be like the one in the United States, but it was far from it. The room was hot and stuffy with lights that barely worked, and the kids were yelling as the teacher sat at her desk reading a book. I tried to make small talk with my table mate, but she couldn’t understand my American accent —  I stayed silent the entire day.

 

 

I didn’t know why it was so hard for me to connect with the other kids my age. I felt out of place. After the last bell of the day rang, I came back from school and broke down crying. I missed my parents and our cozy apartment.

 

 

I stayed in India from 1st to 4th grade and had only a few happy memories as I was bullied at school. I enjoyed shopping for sarees with my grandma, riding the bike with my grandpa to buy my favorite snacks from the convenience store, and going to the temples. In fourth grade, my parents brought me back to the U.S. because they missed me too.

 

 

My grandma cried as I left her at the airport, and despite how difficult the past few years had been, I felt a pang of sadness. I had just started getting used to living in Andhra Pradesh.

 

As my parents drove me to my new home, they told me about the house they bought and how we didn’t have to worry about anything else. That is how my childhood dream of living in a house came true. This house was the home of my first snowball fight, my tenth birthday costume party, and the porch where I sat with my friends eating popsicles during the summer holidays. We lived there until I was in 6th grade.

 

My grandpa got sick, so my parents decided to move back to India. I needed to get ready for yet another significant change.

 

My dad and I left for India first, so my dad could take care of grandpa, and he dropped me off at the Happy Valley International Boarding School. This is where I lived for the next 4 years.

 

Again, I adjusted to a whole new way of life. Every Sunday I would wait for my dad to come back and say that we could go back to America – because India turned out to be a place full of toxic friendships and uncaring teachers.

 

The middle of 10th grade was my breaking point, and I insisted that I could no longer stay. My family figured that it would be best if I flew alone back to the United States to be with my mom.

 

After I landed in America I never wanted to leave again. I wanted to finally settle down and live with my parents. The roller coaster of my life left me feeling inadequate, from having difficulty adjusting to the food, to failing math class because teaching styles differed between India and America.

 

But these transitions have also helped me. Living in two different countries taught me about both cultures. It also expanded my knowledge about governments and gave me a unique perspective on people. Amid change, I found valuable lessons.

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About the Contributor
Jayni Gogineni, Photographer
Jayni Gogineni (she/her) is a senior and a first year staffer. Her bias is Kim Taehyung from BTS. Her favorite genre of music is R&B and she likes food, especially fried chicken. She also enjoys exquisite drinks such as orange mango Snapple which is always out of stock in Marcus. She’s excited to work in the Marquee this year!

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