Rediscovery of India
The death of Jean Baptiste was the big event of my life: it sent my mother back to her chains and gave me freedom. . . . I move from shore to shore, alone and hating those invisible begetters who bestraddle their sons all their life long. I left behind me a young man who did not have time to be my father and who could now be my son. Was it good thing or bad? I don't know. But I readily subscribe to the verdict of an eminent psychoanalyst: I have no Superego.
Jean-Paul Sartre ( 1964:18-19)
If discovery is the science of intuitive knowledge, rediscovery is the art of self-excavation--an archeological exploration of experience. Rediscovery is a paradoxical gift of loss. But something rediscovered was perhaps never lost. Also what you can recover was perhaps never lost. This existential duality of trans-ethnic consciousness defines a culture of experience that is both uprooting and liberating. Many years ago I wrote a prospectus for a book titled Rediscovery of India. My rediscovery never implied replication of a famous historical essay written by Nehru, India's first prime minister ( Nehru, 1946; 1985). I am perennially intrigued by the interpretation of certain words and their meanings that I learned in my early childhood years. Reflecting on my own social world from a distance of time and space is rewarding. It is an encounter with my Being; its meaning transcends its essence as I relate it to interdividuality ( Sartre, 1992: xiv). This intersubjective exercise is more than cathartic; it is praxeological and self-evaluative. I am happy that I did not write the book as I planned before.
It is July 1995 in Louisiana, USA. About two decades ago, I came to this oak-infested country in search of a job. The news that comes from the