The Gujarati community has a long tradition of seafaring and a history of immigration to foreign lands. The mercantile culture resulted naturally from the Indian state’s proximity to the Arabian Sea. Although air travel had replaced sea travel by the time I was born, this innate restlessness I feel to explore new lands is something that is irrevocably embedded in me.
I gazed up at the skies as I made my way to Singapore Chinatown’s Sri Mariamman Temple. The slightly darkened clouds signalled at the rain that was about to fall. I walked as briskly as I could in my heavy maroon lace saree. It had been twelve years since my last chopda pujan and I never thought I’d see the day where I’d preside over my very own. I watched my great-grandfather perform the ceremony annually growing up, but I never thought one day I’d be next in line. Life must know things that I don’t.