Happy Birthday India! – Blogathon – Post 13

15th August 2013
Today, at school while participating in the Independence Day
celebrations, I noticed the frolic and enthusiasm amongst the age group of 4 to
9. Ofcourse as adults, we too were enjoying every bit of the dances, songs,
speeches and ofcourse the chit-chat.
But what I further thought was how much of this enthusiasm and love for
the country is really carried forward by the young hearts? As children we too
celebrated the National holidays and occasions. But if we be truthful to
ourselves, do we really feel patriotism or love for our country?
For a moment, let’s keep aside the country. Do we follow the rich
heritage and culture, beliefs and customs which India represents? In the pretext
of being modern and forward looking, we forget where we come from. It is uncool
to talk in Hindi, wear Indian attire, speak our mother tongue and participate in
poojas.
Where other countries still love to flaunt their local language even in
beauty pageants and otherwise, I see more and more people rolling their tongues
and produce fake accents, even while having informal conversations with
friends. I wonder why?
The moment a child turns 10, we start seeing a sudden ‘need’ to be less
Indian and more westernised. I guess, being modern is equivalent to being
westernised.
For men, being modern is to go around with 10 women, but want to get
married to virgins only. Young women start smoking to look cool, not caring
what it could do to their bodies. Calling the mothers Amma or Ma is old
fashioned and God forbid, if your friends catch you going to the temple. (It
does not matter that He is the one you will call a 100 times before the exam
results.) It does not matter whether your child is studying in a college which
is nowhere near the prestigious institutions of India, but hell…he/she is in
the US of America!
And man! You just have to stay abroad for 3 months, there appears the
tongue rolling (yet again), the inability to digest Indian food, milk, salt,
sugar, basically everything. Oh BTW, you were born and brought up here.
I understand and agree, we have issues. We lack infrastructure
facilities like many other developed countries. I sincerely wish there were
cleaner public toilets, and men understand that roads are not loos. I wish there
is less corruption and crime. I wish the government is genuinely for the people. But tell me, which countries do not have problems and issues? Grass is greener on the other side. 
But is it that bad? Is
it so easy to just stop being an Indian and be someone completely the opposite
of everything one stands for from birth?

Time to think….

Yeh hain India meri jaan !

Last evening we were out and what we experienced was the
usual traffic jam which is quintessential to Bangalore. While thankfully we
started to slide through the snaky vehicles, the opposite lane had begun to form
a jam of its own. The reason was oh-so watchable!
Right in the beginning of the slow crawling traffic was a
buffalo cart. Yup, a buffalo cart with 2 sturdy buffalos and a man trying to manoeuvre
the cart loaded with sugarcane.  Buffalos
being what they are and doing what they are supposed to do, walked with a
definite slow rhythm, swaying their tails and lethargic bodies.
And just behind the village personified was a….hold your
breath….an Audi Q7….Heehaw!  The driver
was but obvious pissed off to the core.
A ‘oh-just-out-of-the-showroom’ looking Audi + ‘I-am-the-owner-of-this-Audi’
looking driver + a honking exasperated moment + the calculated gait of the
buffalo + unbaffled cart rider + a road full of watchers with a smile, rather a
laugh, on their faces.
Clearly, India is running 2 parallel worlds. One, which is completely oblivious of technology, infrastructure and luxury. And the other other which is the epitome of “India Shining”. 
While we too had our share of
laugh, I was left wondering about the concept of economic paradox which I had
learnt as a student and taught as a teacher. Finally I got to see it firsthand!