Saturday, October 08, 2005

Being Indian 2

contd. from part 1...

So, the edifices of my country, I held in high regard, came falling down. It describes a rather meek picture. No? But India is everything and if you know of it, you will also know that this could only be a part of the entire story.

And here are some symbolic events that will now show you the faith & love I have for my country. Well, better time to write, but on the birthday of Mahatama Gandhi? Of course, these are personal experiences and I do not follow him 100%.

  • We went trekking into Himachal Pradesh during college. And took base in one remote village - in the fields, on the hill slopes, equipped with just a few warm clothing & bags. The villagers noticed us, came to us, forced us to move to their village and offered us special food and shelter. They would have it no other way.

  • The next morning when we were ready to leave and we were getting onto a local bus I suddenly experienced a moving force that almost droppped me - like somebody is tackling another in rugby). And soon I noticed I had one of the kids (we talked to the night before), holding me with his arms & legs. His affection (in just 8 hours) was terribly spontaneous that I almost would cry - if he was not already doing so!

  • When I began working in Bangalore, I lost my job (because my company went bankrupt). I had absolutely no money and could not muster courage to ask home for it. But then... every morning I would have a 50 - 1oo rupees in my purse! My rather poor karate teacher ( who earned money as a steward) and who would be staying nearby, was without asking ensuring I survive.
    So, my friendship with this person would grow very strong. And even if he was not rich, I was taken all over his hometown in Kerala. Make many many friends and get an unforgettable experience.

  • Eventually, I paid him back. He fell in love with this girl and it was my house which first became his love nest and later a place they stayed with me for one year!

  • I was involved in a bad incident in a remote village in Tamil Nadu. And we had the whole village on us. Just 3 of us. One keen to pick a fight (how & why do not ask me). And the other two including me, who did not know the local language. When everything seemed lost - came this lady asking me where I was from. And I do not know why I answered this, but I did - 'army family'! And she happened to be a retired army jawan's wife & in a moment she challenged the entire village to touch us and gave them a big lecture. thereafter we were equipped with cool cool water and a guide for us to the next destination!!

  • I was stranded on a railway station during heavy rains on my way to home from hostel. A person whose destination had come and who was in the same compartment as me, offered me shelter in his home. He was a Parsi and I can never forget that house. It was very very old - but very very beautiful. And the most interesting person there happened to be his grandfather who talked to me non-stop all night!

And all these events happen 1000km from my native place. I really feel that the we, Indian people, have enormous benevolence and love in their heart if only we could channel them. Espeically in the rural India, there is so much kindness by nature that we should really not let it go. We need to tap it - so that we learn what we really were meant to be. Else, if we loose it all - we will spend many more years re-discovering it. More years, than the years we were colonised.
I rather India forget its aim to become a 'super power'. And instead focus on ' a high quality of life, progress and togetherness with the world.' For, look around - where is the humanness in being a super power?

Today is Mahatama Gandhi's birthday, and I am sure he would approve it, with necessary changes to his own and my views?


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