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By Pradip Rodrigues
Mumbai, February 9 (CINEWS): Meet Amelia D’souza who was born in the US and moved with her parents to live in Bandra, Mumbai as a child. Today she is 16 and considers India her home. She loves it here and although she sees herself moving back to the US for further education would undoubtedly find a way to return.
Tell me how old were you when you moved to India?
I was about 4 or 5 when I first came to india for a few months, and I did feel a bit out of place, naturally, since it was so hectic and life was much different than I was used to. Eventually I moved here when I was 6 or 7 and did KG and 1st grade at St. Joseph’s, a nearby catholic school . I definitely did feel strange because the girls I was in school with kind of rubbed off on me and made me develop a thick Indian accent, which is how I find it easy to alternate between accents every now and then. I think that’ll always stick with me, but it was indeed pretty strange to live here until I became a teenager.
How did you figure out Hindi and Marathi?
I studied Marathi in school as it was compulsory, for about 5 years, but I still don’t know a single word.. We had the habit of “mugging up”, so we never really had to know what any of the words meant, but to simply read and write them on paper. Hindi, I picked up later on when I studied it in my 7th onwards, also, while conversing with maids and drivers.
Did you initially want to go back to the states?
I think in between, maybe in my 4th and 5th I felt the most out of place because I had a very diverse group of friends that sometimes made me uncomfortable. People would always target me first for not being fully Indian and I suppose out of jealousy, would make fun of me. But when I switched schools in my 8th, for high school, all of that changed because it was an entirely different environment. I was surrounded by people like myself, who had actually travelled and didn’t see me as any different than anyone else.
Do you feel like an outsider ?
Not anymore. I’m proud to say that I’ve found my niche, at least with my friends and social life and everything. I’m certainly super comfortable here now, especially as I’ve gotten older.
Now that you live in India where do you see yourself living in the future?
Well, I’ve always seen myself finishing my education and starting my carter in the US itself. Bombay is fun and all, but I don’t think you can be too productive here.. It’s necessary, without a doubt, to leave this place to actually see how the real world works.
All your friends might be planning to study in US, will you?
Definitely. Most of my friends are already in university there. I want to go to a university in Massachusetts. I have family there and grew up in Boston.
People keep telling you to consider modeling given how photogenic you are. Do you have any plans?
I don’t want to be a model, I’m only interested in that as a hobby. I really like photography and I’ve always been told since I was a child, that I am photogenic, so why not. I’m interested in law, as a career.