The world is sometimes divided into so-called developed and developing nations. Anees Chamarty contemplates the difference between her native and adopted countries.
I fastened my seat belt and brought my seat upright. The plane was about to land in India, my birthplace. As the flight descended, I thought of my first landing in the USA, 20 years ago, to pursue higher studies.
I had chosen my professor and courses based on my interest; whereas in India, I had witnessed a caste based structure and bias on the campus, even in dorm assignments.
In America, I could wear what I wanted without being ogled or judged. I could smile with all my teeth showing without projecting that as an invitation to touch me. I could go to the cinemas and not feel unsafe and enjoy the entire movie; without being groped.
It felt weird being free, almost intimidating. I learnt that in America I am accountable for my actions and responsible for the choices I make.