All that I Have Needed

There is more than one thing that has been part of my world as an Indian, which has made my life different and special. I have grown up in a rather traditional environment, even though there was no real strictness regarding the same. It was a world which was influenced by more than one religion, and more than one language – there was the influence of more than one community, and more than one style of living here. We had more than one culture, but there was that unity in diversity, which helped us to follow what has been our way of living for a long time, that is for sure.

Among all those things, there is the skill to drive anywhere, and it is something that has been achieved by driving for so long on our roads, going on from the time when I was eighteen, to now our fourth car which is the first diesel car I have possessed. There is so much skill that you see on the road, that you feel prepared for any roads, anywhere. So many things happen on the roads, and there is also a certain amount of forgiveness that happen regarding the traffic on the roads. As long as you obey the traffic rules, you can use the skill that you have gained in this traffic as use it anywhere else, as we are not new to any kind of road.

Surviving with just gravy has been another skill which I have managed to possess in the last few decades. Who needs a side dish or curry when there is gravy, or maybe we can have food with just a little sugar. The simplicity in food has been something which this new generation which is looking for only taste, needs to understand. We just need the food to survive and live through our existence, and we do not live to eat. Wasting food has been considered a quality by many who has too much to spend, but for a developing country like India, food is precious, just like water which has been becoming scarce.

We have also been closer to tea than coffee which is rather the drink of the privileged. Going for the drink of the common man, there has been a better understanding of how to keep it close to the common man rather than to go for the elite class. Tea has always had that quality, which is why India had taken the decision to make it our national drink. We have always loved the drink too, and the tea shops have been the places where the common people gathered, from the towns to the villages, talking about various things, and understanding each other as well as the problems. I have had days surviving just on tea!

There is also this feeling that we have, that never goes. There seems to be some problem with this in the recent days with some people in a few places with low education, but otherwise we have found it easy to have more and more cultures and traditions here. I have always wished for more religions and communities around me despite the fact that we have three of the world’s major religions around. It is the culture of the other that is so fascinating for us, and unless everyone starts to feel nothing other than pure hate for the other, which seems to be a growing tendency, we are all proud of that unity in diversity, and the real Indians are only looking for more of such beautiful diversity.

The great kings from our past has been always in support of such diversity, which should be why there were so many settlements of people from far away. We have always been welcome to new things, and something to add to our already colourful culture – there was nothing against accepting new knowledge and improving our world. I am sure that some events might make people doubt the same – but that is not the case with India as a whole. The essence of this culture hasn’t been lost yet, and those who claim to protect it aren’t the ones who are the real Indians, for it is about those who live according to the same, and let others live too.

There is this mutual respect that has been practiced in the Indian culture from a long time ago, that has been part of our blood too. It is the one thing that will raise our status among the nations, along with that strong spiritual side. This spiritual capabilities has been misused, but in its true essence will go on to become stronger than ever, as hate and abuse has no real existence in our culture. We have always wished for happiness and peace all over the world, and it is where we shall return to. It is for the same that we keep trying, praying and hoping during these days.

Witness the celebration of India’s growing global influence with Lufthansa’s TVC; for it is certainly #MoreIndianThanYouThink.

TeNy

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Questions on a Sunny Day

It was on a sunny day that the ninety seventh human was allowed to get into the castle, something which was allowed only that many times through the history of the new and the old vampire worlds. Usually, the people allowed were someone who was good at one field or the other, this time, it was someone else, who had forced his way into this place, and so, none of the vampires happened to be happy about it. Still, they managed to deal with this person in the usual manner without exposing them to the sunlight directly.

Evil Human: Hi, inferior creatures, I am here, and I am going to praise my nation right now. So, listen to me as I go through it.

Vampire Bat: Why do you want to do that now?

Evil Human: It is what I do to make you understand my superiority in front of you lesser beings. I am going to sing our national anthem, and you have to stand up in respect for our culture and traditions which are the greatest in all world; otherwise, I will thrown you out of this castle like the useless dead people that you are.

Uncle Dracula: Enough of this. Tie him up.

[Vampires team up and tie up the man.]

Evil Human: This is an action against the greatest civilization, and the one true great nation of all time, which I condemn with the power that I possess due to our superiority over all those weak, pathetic…

Vampire Owl: This is rather unexpected. I have never even heard the Lich Queen or Mr. Werewolf Anger say this aloud in another territory.

Vampire Bat: One has to wonder how things happened to be like this. There should be some kind of control.

Uncle Dracula: This is quite natural, my friends. When a nation has so much of a great history, and the values that transcend what a common man can see, along with great development over the last few decades, uneducated fools like these will emerge.

Vampire Bat: It should be so depressing for a great nation to have people like this guy singing nonsense.

Uncle Dracula: Well, India has come so far into the modern world while maintaining its own powerful ideologies, values and culture which have contributed to the success of so many great people from the nation. It is the same reason why there is unity in diversity like nowhere else.

Vampire Owl: I was going to feed this guy to my zombie minions, but I am afraid that his extreme right-wing nonsense will poison their brains or what is left of them. They are all good people eating brain biriyani and having some graveyard fun, you know.

Uncle Dracula: It is only due to him not taking the essence of being an Indian, not taking the best of the great civilization right into him, and he seems to have been brainwashed into hating others rather than supporting his own nation and people. I have heard that uneducated humans fall into this too easily, and here we see the same proven with ease.

Vampire Bat: It is a case of shame that nothing can be done about it.

Vampire Owl: I am sure that politicians are also contributing to this. Such beliefs are what cause world wars.

Uncle Dracula: There is enough in Indian culture to be righteous and still gain success, but some people are just going on abusing others or choosing the wrong path to achieve success, and some dumb people think that it is all about religion, but the truth is that it is about politics – if there is no religion, there will always be caste, language, race and even celebrity worship among the others causing trouble. The only way out is to embrace the true essence of Indian culture, which has been all about truth, love, peace and non-violence.

Vampire Bat: May the essence get to be more powerful than the existence of people like him.

Vampire Owl: May righteousness prevail now, and towards the eternity that we look forward to.

Vampire Bat: My vampire friends, the human world has too many nations which consider themselves and their culture superior to the others. Only when the superiority is proven by their own actions of kindness and love rather than the rest of the things, that their world can be a better place. It is not by wealth and certainly not by fame, as there is that ancient Indian way of thinking that includes “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu”, calling for happiness and peace not just to oneself, but to the whole world. When the world becomes a better place, happiness automatically comes back to you.

***The images used in this blog post are from the Official Facebook Page of the movie, Hotel Transylvania.

Witness the celebration of India’s growing global influence in Lufthansa’s TVC; for it is #MoreIndianThanYouThink.

TeNy

And There was the Need

I have had quite some time as break between passing my MA English exams and getting my first job, and this time period was spent the best by traveling around the town of Aluva or otherwise known as Alwaye as the people going through the railway station would know. Even before it was popularized by what became the second highest grossing Malayalam movie at that time, Premam, we knew that possibilities are endless, and I had a lot of time to undertake a random journey from one part of the town to the other. It never mattered if the journey was alone or with someone.

Watching movies could also happen with the same, and I often took some special time to travel in the KSRTC (Kerala State Transport Corporation) buses, as it has been on these government transportation that most of my life has been depending on – from our house to our flat, and also to our ancestral lands and to our current home, all were connected the best through the KSRTC service; even my schools, colleges and the work place were best reached by the KSRTC, or I preferred them before the private buses. The AluvaPerumbavoor bus route has been my most traveled bus route ever.

Such journeys were needed, because there was not much about keeping on sitting at home all the time. A possible attack from a relative was always there to bring the danger and the terror, and it was capable of destroying a day or maybe even a week with the power, making these journeys the way to making the day better. It was during one of these journeys that I came across this person from another state, standing on the same bus stop as I was, seemingly not sure about which bus to choose from a long queue of transport.

As I was not someone in a hurry, I waited in my usual style, for a bus with empty seats to arrive, and that took some time. It was during that time that he asked about the bus to Angamaly, the other town which has bee popularized by a recently released movie, Angamaly Diaries. We usually expect such a person to ask about how to go to Perumbavoor, but this time, it was Angamaly. That was not that much of a difficult question for me, but him getting there was going to be more difficult. What he needed was an ordinary bus, and that was only possible from the KSRTC bus stand.

So, this was the time to remember “Atithi Devo Bhava”, and I had become the righteous host for the town of Aluva, the place where I was spending most of my youth. Prescribed in the ancient texts and also becoming the tag line of India’s Ministry of Tourism’s campaign, this was to become more and more significant in the wake of racist and nationalist attacks all over the world – at least us, who are part of a civilization with deep roots, and are determined to hold on to keep our values and culture strong, had to make sure that the slogan about “the guest being equal to God” was to stay alive.

Therefore, I decided to travel with him to the KSRTC bus station, and make sure that he got down there to get into the Angamaly bus, that too the ordinary service as he had wanted. When he came out of the bus after getting in, I thought that my understanding of languages was once again bad, but he had come to thank me, and then he returned to the bus to travel to the destination. Well, there can be many success stories, but nothing like being successful in helping others in need – it is part of our culture, and it should be on the top of the list of values that we would be passing on.

Yes, the idea of culture is more than just about behaviour, but how we behave with others does deserve to have the priority. Being Indian is more about how good a person you are, and not about how you force others to say that you and your country are so awesome. It is by how you treat others than others will be seeing you. Abusing people on the Facebook page or App page of an android application is not how one earns respect, and it should be the culture and values from our past, and not what has been developed by a modernised new generation, that should guide our lives.

Witness the celebration of India’s growing global influence in Lufthansa’s TVC; for it is #MoreIndianThanYouThink.

TeNy

Of Values and Culture

I wouldn’t consider myself among those who are termed as the highly acclaimed, successful people on the planet, or even in my extended family. But I have held on, against all things vain, and I have done that without losing hope. I have never been after titles, and never did I try to get a position better in comparison to someone else. I have been told that being good, and being fair to others is what matters the most. The same has been part of our culture, and success is something that will come to you sooner or later, as long as you keep the goodness factor alive, along with working hard. It is from the good deeds, that we make ourselves, and our nation proud.

There will always be the cousins, the distant relatives who have done so much with their lives, that people will always talk about how much they earn. It something that you will always have the ears to hear, and these people are certain to make sure that you are going to listen to the same. By any means necessary, more salary is required, and so is a wonderful married life which includes a partner with lots of money, and his or her family with more wealth. This is more of a deviation from what our culture has been. We are affected so much by the modern world that we have forgotten that our culture was not based on wealth, and it was all about the quality of an individual.

One would wonder if the problem is with the individual who keeps looking forward to only being successful in one way or the other, or with the society that keeps asking for the same. Growing in a family which has been so close to the Indian values, did make me wonder about where these qualities are going, during my youth. Maybe, the current situation has too many easy paths – but I would say no to them, and will work of my own to reach where I need to be; this has been my decision. There is a lot to do in this world and a lot to achieve, I agree to that – but I would also say that it has to be done in the right way rather than choosing a path which has all wrong letters written on the sign boards.

I am also not denying that the decision has been something that did prove effective for me in the long run. There were so many opportunities for me to go the wrong way, as the chances to lie and cheat one’s way through for money is quite natural in a world which has its people closer to each other with the social media and the internet. What the society has been asking was success, and beyond our culture, there is a new generation who are forced to take the easy way out, and some of them are really happy about the same. But I would not believe that everything is fair in love and war – it is just not the kind of saying that we can believe in, when we look from our culture and values.

Boasting has also never been part of our culture, which is why, the great figures further into the Indian history have been known less in the past, but have come to the picture now. We have always wished to live a simpler life, trying only to live fair and set a good example for a future generation. It is the same reason why, we have kings in our history who have sacrificed so much for their people, and it is on this sacrifice that our values are based on, even though there are still a lot of people who find it convenient to forget the same, and become the greedy, vain human being that has no part in our culture.

I would consider holding on to my values to be more important than stealing success, and showing off with my income and lifestyle. It was the same thing that I thought about when I attended one of those very few interviews which I came across during those early days after finishing my post graduation. I was asked about how good I was, and I replied that I am only that good as the resume says. I said that I would not go on to create magic all of a sudden, and I can only give my best, which was reflected on my qualifications and experience. That might be the only reason why I managed to get the job.

This might be the right place for me, or maybe it is not. I was never sure how long I was to go about with the job. But there was one thing that I was confident about, and it was that my life had to go on the right way, with the Indian values and culture, and not some fake ideology which has been brought on us just like on the other nations due to globalization, and the rest of the things that came as part of modernization. We are what we are, and we have our roots; it tells us to be true to ourselves and to the others; to lead a simple life, and to value humanity over wealth. It is how the hermits have earned so much respect in our history; we are a civilization that are beyond accumulation of wealth. It is how the trust is built, and a better world is constructed.

The same is reflected in Lufthansa’s TVC that is #MoreIndianThanYouThink.

TeNy

Littering in the Moonlight

The vampires were having a tough discussion just outside the Dracula Castle, as the Vampire Bat, the Vampire Owl and the Vampire Snake were present with Uncle Dracula.

“No, not even in the moonlight, said Uncle Dracula. “You are not even supposed to litter in the sunlight, and then how can you litter in the awesome moonlight which is more precious to us vampires?” asked Dracula.

“But it was the Halloween moonlight with cool vampire people all around, and I was drunk. Really, really drunk” said the Vampire Snake.

“He is a snake with special venomous spit superpower. Even if he doesn’t throw waste around, how can you ask him not to spit?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Because all of you have taken the pledge to keep the Dracula Castle and its premises clean. Being drunk is not an excuse. Nothing is an excuse” screamed Dracula.

“But the Mummy spat over that tree on the side of the road, and you don’t want to know what the local werewolves do. The ghosts of the living dead did something even worse” said the Vampire Snake.

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“They do not belong to the vampire category, and won’t come under me. The Mummy is level three desert catgeory. They don’t even come inside the castle. Our current collaboration is with the zombies. Cleanliness begins at home. This is our vampire ancestral home. Do you understand the highly intellectual and vampirically superior words of unlimited wisdom which come out of my mouth?” yelled Dracula.

“Yes, listen to Uncle Dracula. If he raises his blood pressure too much at this age, we might have no uncle, and I might inherit this castle. I will end up being so rich and may be construct a tennis court on the front right corner and the statue of myself holding a tea cup on the left side” added the Vampire Bat.

“What? Wait, no. I am not raising my blood pressure. I am just asking this new vampire apprentice whom you brought from that local tea shop to behave and be a good citizen rather than being a Great Litterburg” said Dracula.

“But I promise not to litter again” said the Vampire Snake.

“See, he is a good vampire apprentice” added the Vampire Bat.

“Or I shall feed him to the snakes in the pond” threatened Dracula.

“But he is the Vampire Snake. What is the point in putting him with normal snakes?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Oh, yes. I meant the crocodiles. Those little crocodiles that I have like the early villains of cinema. I will throw him to the crocodile pound and clap once, laughing loudly like an awesome villain. Damn, I am really getting old; my memory is failing me” Dracula made it clear.

“Thank you, great old vampire lord” said the Vampire Snake while taking a bow.

“See, this is why I bite people. Always use the trash can. Littering is bad. By doing such things, you are working against the environment as well as your nation. And for the sake of each and every living vampire, please don’t spit” advised Dracula.

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“As if he doesn’t already have enough reasons” murmered the Vampire Owl.

“I have heard that he is going to act in a commerical against drinking and smoking, plus supporting care for stray dogs by making them join the werewolves. He is into social causes now” whispered the Vampire Bat.

“We were never the real villains, right?” asked the Vampire Owl.

“Why? No, never. We are not even remotely evil; just see these litterbugs and the rest of the minions of the real dark world. Uncle Dracula can’t even fly around in the invisible mode these days with people leople littering from their vehicles” added the Vampire Bat.

“We vampires realize this. When will the humans understand the same?” wondered the Vampire Owl.

This blog post at The Tea Cerebrations is for the Happy Hours Campaign from The Times of India in association with Indiblogger. It is written as a part of TOI’s “The Great Indian”, a humorous initiative for a better India; this time on “The Great Indian Litterbug” who considers littering as a birth right – the kind of people that we see almost everywhere in India. Please check the following link for further details of this funny and thought-provoking campaign: http://greatindian.timesofindia.com/

*The images used in this blog post are from the official Facebook Page of The Great Indian, meant to support this work.

TeNy