I enter my hometown airport, Madurai. The flight lands with a thud glides through the runway. I see around. The grass is sparse and dry. The tarmac shining under the red -hot sun. The orderliness I found so long midst the passengers seems to diffuse. Before the plane came to a halt, they spring up, pull their hand baggage. The air hostess announces them not to do so. It falls on deaf ears.
They switch on the mobiles, call their relatives, speak in a loud voice. The door opens. There is a mad rush. One of a kind of school children coming out of their class.
It is immigration. There is no queue. Pushing one another they go to the officials. It is chaos all around. No discipline found either way. The same could be found in the luggage clearance spot. Imagine it is the very same people who got into the flight with such orderliness behaving so different in the Indian soil. I wonder.
Well, that is India. The impetuosity and vibrancy both seamlessly merge producing a lovely mix. These are people who are scholars, professionals and businessmen coming from abroad. Those who make India proud in the alien soil.Those who earn in dollars. Make millions a year. Yes, when they return home they lose their complacency, turn an Indian full of life having no restrictions whatsoever.
I drive through the city. The temple bells ring. The loudspeakers are in full form. Music flows through. The men are seen on the benches of the tea shops.They discuss politics while the women are busy at home preparing the meals for their children. It is life as seen in a portraiture.
What does make an Indian? Is it the food? Is it the culture? Is it the ancientness? Is it the religion? Is it the relationship? Is it the closeness? Too many interrogations keep me at crossroads.
Apparently, the richness of food found in every part of India stimulates the taste buds and triggers the mental eye. The proportions of sugar in all its forms, salt, chilli, and the bitterness along with the spices which embellish the dishes serve as gastronomical delights and at the same time lend food for thoughts. The combinations work and deliver an agility. They invigorate the mind which is expressed in many terminologies of science and literature, art and philosophy.
The culture bowls over all other factors. The heritage as found in India out beats all other countries more so the enormous powers, United States of America, United Kingdom and Germany. The music is part of Indian life. Mostly everyone listens, sings, at least hums a tune. The dance and drama expound the territorial folklore. The modern cinema though a little unrealistic enlivens the society with its releases. The majority are commercial while a few are indicative of out of box thinking.
India, being the cradle of civilisation abounds with inscriptions, insignia and transcriptions of Vedas that date back to the early centuries. These were recited and passed on to the next generations orally and much later was transcribed in written form. The earnestness in learning the Vedic treasures by rote sharpened the brains of the Indians. It became a receptacle. It could hold the knowledge to the maximum.
The family is the prime in India. It is the proximity and love the Indians share attribute to their success.The family is the nucleus. Life revolves around it. Could I say that this bondage is the foremost reason for any Indian to achieve glory?
Coming to me, I am a butt of everyone’s mockery. Clad in a sari, with a long sleeved blouse, hair tied up in a bun and with a big bindi on my forehead, eye me with a flutter in their eyes. “Oh! this dame must be from India, more so from a rural belt. She can’t speak a word of English. Can’t she apply a makeup and cover her flaws?” These are the common comments about me. I smile at them, at their ignorance, at their narrow mindedness. I rarely dispute them.Running a business meritoriously, keeping my family together, making my boys shine in their professions, serving my husband all the while I feel proud. I am indigenous. I am Indian.
An unforgettable experience I had was during my flight in Lufthansa, where I could relate to the food and interactions with the crew. A homely environment made me feel that I am at home surrounded by my kith and kin. It calls for no surprise as I could find a similarity between Sanskrit and German. The great Max Mueller surfaces slowly and I am conquered. bit.ly/2oQTj8q
# MoreIndianThanYou Think