The Winterline

The Monsoons have finally fled, and have been replaced with “the Winterline,” a natural phenomenon visible on in Mussoorie and Switzerland. The Winterline is a false horizon visible only from high altitudes. The heat from the plain rises and hits the cool air off of the mountains, and the collision forms a gorgeous patch of color between the brown of the land the the blue of the sky. It is breath-taking, and still a bit shocking. We have climbed the mountain and wandered into town a hundred times now, but we never fail to marvel at the scenery in the distance. The view is the best part of here.

The Winterline is also a constant reminder of how between worlds we are. Western and Asian. Wealth and poverty. English and Hindi. Christian and not. We have found ourselves at the bar of unpredictable color where separate societies collide.

It is a place I always feel comfortable. Not easy, not by any stretch of the imagination. But comfortable. People who know me giggle at my Mexican surname, but being a mixed breed is very much part of my identity. I am under no illusions, I look White, and totally pass for White. But I spent many wonderful days with my Hispanic grandfather at his small sewing machine and vacuum repair shop, watching him sweet talk customers in a bizarre mixture of English and Spanish. I remember the dive taco stands on the south side of San Antonio where he bought me Big Red, stands I still frequent when in the area. I remember him taking my car to friends for cheap repairs, and backs of cars for heavenly tamales, and walking blocks where I rarely saw a word of English in the advertisements. It was a world Grandpa was happy I was not a part of, as he admired the White world, but one I felt connected to, because I was connected to him.

So I have always been attracted to the areas of collision. To the messy middle ground. It feels safe. Like the winterline, those places where societies collide and co-exist are rare. And beautiful. And home.

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About the Author

I moved to India. I mean, why the hell not, right?