Marco Werman: Whoever thought you'd fine the best pizza box in India? I guess its not all that strange, sometimes you have to travel to unexpected places to learn something about familiar things. Indian-American writer Deepak singh has some thoughts on that.
Deepak Singh: I was born in the Indian city of Lucknow and lived there for three decades. India is a huge country, with several languages and more than two dozen states, but I never got the chance to live in another part of it.Most people in India don't travel much, or even leave home to go to school. My entire education from kindergarten through a master's degree took place in my hometown. Growing up in a relatively small city, I only met people who spoke Hindi and ate North Indian food.Then, ten years ago, I left India and moved to Virginia.Before I left, I always thought of America as a distant country where people spoke English with an accent, ate different kinds of foods, and drove on the other side of the road. I thought nothing would be familiar to me, though in the end, it didn't take me that long to get used to it.When I felt homesick, I would go to Subway, Dunkin Donuts or WalMart, because I knew I could find Indians working there. I'd buy a sandwich or a doughnut and hang around to chat.I never thought I'd come to America and meet people from different parts of India from Kerala, in the south, Assam in the east, Gujarat in the west and Kashmir in the north. A lot of these Indians spoke Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil and Gujarati, not Hindi.I became friends with them and was invited to their homes and religious functions. Never a temple-goer in India, I got the chance to celebrate festivals that I'd only read about in books. And I ate Indian food that was as foreign to me as mashed potatoes and venison.I have traveled a lot in the US and have met Americans from all walks of life. They've taught me many things and I've learned a lot about my new home, but America has taught me even more about my own country.