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What’s Your Word for Your Country?

By 25/07/2022July 26th, 2022Featured
Have you been to India? What have you been doing with yourself these past weeks? What country do you call home?

India. My country of birth, that enamors and annoys me in equal measure. I’ve been back in India for more than a month now, and have re-discovered why faith is such an important part of this nation’s psyche.

Processes exist, but they work depending on your fortune. You could possibly reach from point A to point B on a 5-hour drive. Or, you could be stopped on the highway by a portly policeman who would stop the car and have a chat, and ask for a bribe. Or a landslide could have washed away the road. You could make an appointment with a doctor in a big city, and after a drive of 3 hours, find that the doctor can only see you after another 6. They, could, if you’re lucky, see you within thirty minutes.

The only response to all of this is surrender. Sounds counter-intuitive, but in most cases, things are out of your hands, and anger only harms your mental and physical health. I’ve put all my meditation and yoga training to practice in the past weeks–so as not to lose it and freak out at all the things that have gone awry. In short, surrender has been my word for India.

I haven’t written or edited as much as I’d have liked. Barely been able to keep up with the blog and the gazettes. Been sporadic on social media. But a part of me seems to be filling up. Or building steam. Or maybe just gathering itself to strike. Once I’m back home, I might crash for a day or two, but then will pick myself up and be at the desk.

India, with its over-abundance of sensory input, of clashing and harmonizing colors, scents, textures, noises, languages, people, has given me back some of that writing mojo I’d lost in the last two months after I finished the first draft of sequel to The Blue Bar. Now for the second draft. Soon.

In the meanwhile, India remains my playground for a while longer.

What have you been doing with yourself these past weeks? Have you always lived in the country of your birth or have you been an expatriate? What country do you call home? What’s your word for your country?


My lit crime novel, The Blue Bar will be out this October with Thomas & Mercer. It is already available for preorders. Add it to Goodreads or pre-order it to make my day.
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Damyanti Biswas

Damyanti Biswas is the author of You Beneath Your Skin and numerous short stories that have been published in magazines and anthologies in the US, the UK, and Asia. She has been shortlisted for Best Small Fictions and Bath Novel Awards and is co-editor of the Forge Literary Magazine. Her forthcoming literary crime thriller, The Blue Bar is represented by Lucienne Diver from The Knight Agency, and will be published by Thomas & Mercer on January 1, 2023.

I appreciate comments, and I always visit back. If you're having trouble commenting, let me know via the contact form, or tweet me up @damyantig !

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28 Comments

  • dgkaye says:

    Hi Damyanti. First, let’s see if this comment goes through, as we thought we had the problem nipped, but I haven’t been able to get my comments through on your last week’s posts.
    Great post, and I can certainly understand the unsettlingness in your country because this crazy kind of greed seems to be a running theme with many things in many countries. I live in Canada, always have. I grew up in a wonderful city that was once known as ‘Toronto the great’. With the way of the world and dirty dealings and politicians seeming to catch on like viruses, and feeling as though ‘letting go’ of a lot of the once good things in my city, I’m no longer feeling the love. Sadly. But I’m here. And given the chance to move somewhere wonderful, I’d be there in a heartbeat.
    And never apologize for being busy, we all are. I mean trying to write books, read books, write for our blogs, marketing, keeping up with social media, and visiting blogs, something has to lack once in awhile. We are only human. <3

    • DamyantiB says:

      Yay, I can see it Debby! Haha, that’s the power of hometown πŸ˜€ Thank you so much for that reassurance, that means a lot πŸ˜€

  • DutchIl says:

    Thank you for sharing your adventures!!… I think that change is slowly taking place because of today’s technology and everyone more able to communicate with each other and have a greater knowledge of reality, therefore working together to attempt to make changes… of course, there are those who resist change and not making change easier…. πŸ™‚

    Hope you get to feeling much better and ready to follow your dreams and until we meet again..
    May the sun shine all day long
    Everything go right, nothing go wrong
    May those you love bring love back to you
    May all the wishes you wish come true
    May peace be within you
    May your heart be strong
    May you find whatever you’re seeking
    Wherever you may roam
    Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  Β  (Irish Saying)

  • Ronel Janse van Vuuren says:

    Surrender sounds like a good way to go — being filled with anxiety because nothing goes according to plan is no way to live. So I’ll use “surrender” for South Africa, too πŸ™‚ In June and July we barely had functioning internet or electricity throughout the country for various reasons, and I could be a nervous wreck because some of my work couldn’t be done or I could find alternative ways to write and stay productive. Getting the flu and still thinking I could answer emails coherently probably didn’t work out too well — so you should probably ignore the very wordy email I sent you if it doesn’t make much (or any) sense πŸ™‚

  • Sonia Dogra says:

    I had a smile pasted on my face as I read your post. You know, it isn’t hard to connect. I’ve only been to Egypt and while there were some splendid things about the country, no horns and no hurry to get anywhere, and low cost fuel besides the historic and cultural richness, I didn’t miss India. I’ve been meaning to travel to Europe to my sister but a teen at home who is at the threshold of seeking admission in a professional course has kept me away from all travel. Why I say this is that having lived in India all my life, I have no comparison to make and hence this surrender I’d say has become a way of life for me. I don’t know what I would do if I see people obeying rules and keeping appointments. I would probably pinch myself real hardπŸ˜€πŸ˜€ Meanwhile, glad you got your writing mojo back. Enjoy the stay. Happy surrender!

  • Natasha says:

    First of all Welcome home D.

    Yes the only way to live life is to flow I have realised so surrender seems fairly apt especially in our country where you need to keep oodles of patience intact. But it’s a country I love from the bottom of my heart, having lived in foregn lands. And one that totally qualifies to be called home and where I belong.

    India is a land of bliss, bias and blessings – and that’s what makes it ever so special.

    Lots of love. Hope to see you this time. <3

  • hilarymb says:

    Hi Damyanti – I will get down to read The Blue Bar soon … just other things taking over, or taking longer than needed. Yes I’ve learnt to let things progress at their own pace … easier than freaking out – or I stay away from potential hassle spots! Enjoy the rest of your time ‘at home’ … cheers Hilary

  • Francochuks says:

    Enjoy the beautiful bliss of India 😊

  • Susan says:

    South Africa is home – I have a love-hate relationship with it. Too much bribery and corruption within the governing party. It’s endemic. I’ve lived and worked abroad in the distant past. I remember kissing the tarmac once off the aircraft, on returning home –

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Same with me, Susan. I love India, but I also wish some of it were different, especially the pervasive menace of patriarchy and poverty, alongwith corruption. India survives because of those who are the salt of its earth, the everyday workers and farmers and small-businessmen. They survive despite, not because of, the government and the big businessmen. So it is with most countries, I think.

  • Rajagopal says:

    Nice to see you, Damyanti, on your home turf. Waxing negative eloquence of our country is fine. You may be referring to parts of WB. In sharp contrast, things are far better in other states, specifically the southern and western states that compete with global standards. I have been an expat myself, having worked for many years in few countries outside India. In several aspects, we are better than others and are on the path of steady progress in areas of deficiency.

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Some of it is in West Bengal, the rest is in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra. If you’re familiar with my social media presence, you’ll find that I wax eloquent both ways–positive and negative, and no, there’s no problem I see with either. Every country has its plus and minus points and both Need to be spoken about.

      Being an expat has nothing to do with it, because I spend equal amounts of time working and volunteering in India. While there has been progress, it has been in pockets, and much remains to be done. We don’t need to compare ourselves to anyone–just do the best we can.

  • Jai Hind!

  • You deal with some rough conditions.
    I’ve lived in several other countries but the US has been home most of my life.
    Considering where our country is headed, I’ll not repeat the one word that currently describes it…

    • Damyanti Biswas says:

      Each country goes through phases. let’s hope this phase will pass quickly for the US.

  • I’ve always lived in the United States. Stating the obvious, the word is “troubled.”

  • Please, post more photos of beautiful India.

  • cleemckenzie says:

    Enjoy your time at home. And surrendering is just another word for acceptance–something I strive for all the time.

  • Debbie D. says:

    India sounds fascinating, yet aggravating, not unlike Italy! Wheels turn slowly there too and bribery is widespread, but the people know how to enjoy life. πŸ™‚ I’m sorry you’re faced with these personal difficulties, Damyanti, and hope things improve for you, soon. In the meantime, it sounds like The Blue Bar’s advance buzz is strong. Congrats! And best wishes for the sequel, as well. I was born in Germany, where they prize “Efficiency” above all else. Living in Canada offers a sense of “Stability” and well-being (except for the cold winter weather πŸ˜„).

  • Out of all that great thinking and speculating, my biggest take-away is: There’s a sequel to The Blue Bar? Isn’t that great news!

    • DamyantiB says:

      Haha, Absolutely! I’m not able to do much writing per se say since the travel, but yes, I’m slowly, but surely, inching towards to finish line πŸ˜€

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