The first thing that comes to my mind is the variety and spontaneity that it offers. Be it a festival, marriage, pooja or cricket match the buzz of the events in India makes you stop in the middle of a bustling street to simply stand and stare in fascination. A true blue Bengaluru lass I have been born and brought up in the city and that too under the simultaneous influence of two very unique cultures, my mother being Mizo and my dad a Tamilian. It is an amazing feeling to be able to relate to two different cultures as my own, together they transform into a whole new culture of its own.
Our guest writer, who lives in India says that India with all its charms & faults has claimed her heart. She dislikes the political scene but then she loves the yummy Indian meals. The strikes & crime rates get her fuming. She finds solace in Indian films…
Everything about growing up in India amazes me and I would not trade it for anything. Where do I begin to narrate my tale from? Food, I guess for I must confess that I am quite a foodie and India has spoilt me. The variety and authenticity of tastes in the different foods of India fascinate me and each time I travel to a new city or state I make sure I eat something new. Up in the North, you have people obsessing over rotis and paneer while in the South a meal is not a meal without rice and sambar. It is fascinating to note that sambar doesn’t taste the same up in Delhi like it does in Chennai even if the same Mrs.Subramanyam prepares it and the same goes for the Punjabi lassi.
Authenticity is what makes every meal a delight. And also as long as you are in India the roadside treats will ensure you are well fed! I love the chaats, pakodas and the many other Indian street-side snacks. After food what I love next is having had a chance to study in a school here. I have had the best time in school be it strolling on the school grounds during P.T. classes, sitting on the first bench in the class and passing notes to each other from underneath the desk, giggling during classes, playing pranks on teachers and more. School would have not been school had I not got a chance to be a brat and a student, at the same time. I don’t know what is it that makes it happen for us, but as students in India while we play pranks with our teachers in class we also respect them as much. Does it happen outside India too? I wonder.
And it was in school that I was introduced to the amazing beauty and geography of the country so I never leave a chance to explore our land. It is fun how one can explore different means of transportation too as one travels. From a bullock-cart to a train and a bus to an airplane, journeys would have not been the same had I not hopped on and off these means! And wherever you go one thing you can’t ignore is a sea of people, all so different yet so same. The best place to experience the varied cultures of India is to visit any railway station, I say. If not the station then you should be a part of any Indian celebration and watch people from different cultures join in the madness. You’d be lucky if you find yourself in the country during Diwali. Though I have never gone beyond lighting a lamp I love the annoying patakhas too. There is something magical about how seriously we take our festivals!
And what’s equally magical is how non-seriously we take politics in our country. Even a five-year-old knows that we are a melting masala pot of politics. I, personally, have learnt to enjoy the happenings of our political world without understanding the intricacies. I also wonder if anything would ever change. And just like the scams, strikes too are inevitable to the Indian fabric. And oh yes, election is a synonym for ‘jackpot’ for the rulers. The catch is that despite it all democracy still reigns in one way or the other. I dislike the politics but I like the fact that there are enough opportunities for all of us to grow.
And I surely love the fact that after every disaster we stand up yet again, hopeful and ready to win. We need our wakeup calls be it a crime as serious and ghastly as a rape or an act as silly and sick as spitting on the roads. But we do wake up. And yes when everything gets dull we look towards Bollywood to add a spark to our lives. That always does the trick.
So how do I sum up my 17 years of growing up in India? There are things that amaze, moments that make me angry, events that shake me up, people that get me curious…yet India is a country that I keep falling in love with each passing day. I must say with all its faults and its charms it has claimed my heart! And then as goes the saying, home is where the heart is.
Keep blowing the Trumpet! This & many more stories await in the pages!