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

The Tales of Variety

There are six tales. For the first one, there is the Uncle no.1 who tries to pretend that he is traveling in second class AC compartment while he actually goes around in the sleeper. If nobody is expected at the railway station, he pretends that it was so cold in the compartment because it was AC while he travels in the sleeper class. If somebody is expected to receive him at the railway station, he actually travels in the second class AC so that the secret that he usually travels in sleeper class won’t be out; all these to pretend in front of his son’s in-laws.

Aunty no.1 is a clear saviour of money, and becomes extra economical at home, keeping the very old vegetables at home for later use. As there is so much money at home, it is impossible for them to have older food, and so the older food is reserved for the guests. But nobody can complain because she makes some nice food with it, and this comes quite natural for her. People feel that she prepares so much food and it is awesome, but there are some very old vegetables which remains her secret.

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Aunty no.2 knows how not to waste even a little bit of the money. She keeps living that simple life that her children can never agree to, because of which they rarely wishes to come home; but the fact remains that she has effectively controlled the flow of money into the right areas, but it goes even up-to that extent that one has to wonder if she is now the richest person in the family – if it is so, the situation is worth applause as well as wonder, and the question remains if she did spend money even when there was the real need.

Uncle no.2 is like the richest person in the family, but never spends even one rupee for even that local toffee, forget buying a cup of black tea from the cheapest shop around. The theory used here is like, “when I get richer, I will be a miser”, but he gets richer and richer, and one day, he might have a tree which grows money, and then he will buy something for us – may be a cup of cardamom tea or that new variety of coconut ice cream which is there at the shops. He is surely saving a lot right now.

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Aunty no.3 is the one who keeps asking for money. It is not that she never returns, but she does ask on such regular basis that everything at her place goes too smoothly even though it can’t be said about those whom she has the money from. Still, she manages things perfectly with the money and lives a happy life. Isn’t it what we all want? People say that money can’t buy happiness, but for some people, happiness is a by-product of money borrowed from someone else.

Aunty no.4 is the great judge, the grand decision maker who creates eternal battles over the small amount of money. She is like a great king who has conquered so much of lands and is struggling to keep them under control. Each and every day, she goes on the battle, with the fish vendor, vegetable seller and many others. She instills a sense of fear in the minds of the people in the market, but never gives up on her special skill, or what she considers to be that – to buy the best at the cheapest price.

These six people are representatives of a big society which looks for that Paisa Vasool element more than anything else, and it has been part of our lives. But what rises above all these, as the right choice for the best experience at a nice affordable rate is the Lufthansa Premium Economy, something which comes to us as another innovation from theGerman airlines which is the largest airline in Europe, not just with the number of passengers carried, but also with its fleet size. It is not the usual economy, but #LufthansaPremiumEconomy. Check this link for further details: http://premium-economy.lufthansa.com/

***The images used in this blog post belong to Lufthansa. #LufthansaPremiumEconomy

TeNy

The Cheapest and the Best

Once upon a time, my dad told me to but the best as it is the cheapest. But as time passed, I came to know that he was playing the Paisa Vasool theory so much that he was slowly moving towards being Scrooge. Yes, even while looking for something to drink, he always asked me to drink tea. It was the cheapest available option and whenever I wanted to drink something, he bought me more and more tea. It might be different now, because the price of tea has gone up, and the new interest is black tea which costs one rupee less than normal tea.

He was always buying the cheapest available at the market and coming up with the idea that it is the best. Whenever he found an opportunity to get anything cheap, he was quick to buy them, and he has spent a lot of his life looking for discounts. When I wanted to buy my first bike, he gave me the TVS Centra which boasted of a hundred kilometre mileage. The car choice was always Maruti 800. It took me years to escape from this mileage addiction which was imposed on me.

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Well, buying the cheapest has often landed us in trouble, but he only chooses to remember the success stories. He has been specialized in fighting with the auto rickshaw drivers over the fare – he did that in four major cities of India; Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore and Hyderabad. He was always proud of the two or three rupees which he saved, only to loss more later, but he was always happy about having saved something, and it seems to be something which he is doing even now.

He always wanted to go to market himself and find the cheapest to buy from there. When it is about the non-vegetarian, he skillfully tries to find something even cheaper, as he never really wants to eat it. When we were buying the first computer, he managed to travel to every possible seller and find the cheapest of them all, and he hoped to make this the common computer for all the relatives to save money for them all. He also did the same for our bicycle.

His idea has been to buy one book and let all of us relatives use it. I realized that when some of my books went missing and they started appearing in the relatives’ places. It was another part of that Paisa Vasool idea which left me with so much less to read during my school days. But it helped “the others”, nevertheless. It did help to create a feeling of oneness among the relatives for sure, even though it was at the expense of how much I scored during the exams. Well, I was never the priority, and so it was okay.

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Well, this trait of finding the extra value is something more though, as when utilized at the right time with the best skills, can be something which creates the best results. It saves money and makes us feel a lot better if used with efficiency. There is the need to find the right ingredients with the appropriate vision. It is in our blood, and so it will come to us sooner or later. There is more than one way to use this, and we are sure to find more and more methods for the same.

Then there is #LufthansaPremiumEconomy. Lufthansa’s premium economy class is going to bring that extra value for sure. It is new and it is indeed a class apart. You might have seen many types of economy options, but none like this. There is more than just the legroom. There was always the need for something between the Business Class and Economy Class. It is not economy, but #LufthansaPremiumEconomy. Check this link for further details: http://premium-economy.lufthansa.com/

***The images used in this blog post belong to Lufthansa.

TeNy

The Legend of Colossus

The largest aircraft in the history of commercial aircraft, #LufthansaA380 is flying to Delhi! There will be daily flights on the Frankfurt-Delhi route, and our capital becomes the first city to welcome the giant, and lets see how many more tourists will arrive to see Taj Mahal, Akshardham Temple and the rest of the attractions aboard on this wonderful flight. Here is celebrating this with a contest from Lufthansa and Indiblogger. Do check the airlines’ India website for more details: http://a380.lufthansa.com/TAKEPART/#/DE/EN/home.

Cheers to #LufthansaA380 on this occasion, and all the best.

The bigger, the better. I don’t think that there will be a second opinion about it. Take the popularity of Kraken and Leviathan in the legends, or think about the Giant Robot. The better vampire was always Count Dracula with the huge castle. We want bigger cars, bigger houses, and even bigger world to accomodate us. It is what we have been striving for, and there has been a certain amount of infatuation with the bigger things, or making our lives bigger. Into that situations, another giant, Lufthansa A380 enters.

This airplane is a colossus, no matter what your idea about a big plane is, as this is one step ahead of the same. We are a nation with a huge population, but with lesser airports and flights – Kerala is attempting to take another step forward, building two more airports in addition to the already existing three international airports at the three different areas of the state. But in totality, India is in need of more airports, and this scarcity is up-to an extent solved by a colossal airplane; the answer is right here in the new Lufthansa A380 which inspires people to travel on flights.

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The smaller aircrafts with lesser number of people will only lead to more complicated air traffic and should cost more aviation fuel, finally leading to more pollution. I am taking the bus versus car comparison on this one, and about why the public transport is better than private cars. Having one huge aircraft which takes the maximum number of people will only do good. Let’s hope that it will bring the air ticket prices down too. More air and rail transport means less congestion on roads too. Well, the plane itself is a big, amazing structure, and for the same, people will need to travel through Lufthansa.

It is also good to see that an airline industry with such a global reach is trying to make their market better in India. India can use such interest from the global giants in aviation. It is something which will catch the interest of the usual travelers to undertake more journeys on this new huge aircraft which will surely be nicer and more comfortable to travel in, as the turbulence should me much lesser due to weight and size of the big thing. As this is a bigger plane, there is the certainty of better leg space, and more storage space should also be guaranteed.

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One thing I am sure about is that I would love to travel in a Lufthansa. So far, I have only travelled in Kingfisher Airlines, Emirates, SpiceJet, Air India, Jet Airways and Indian Airlines, coming very close to travel in AirAsia, and at the same time hoping to travel in a possible Air Kerala which has been proposed. At the same time, Lufthansa has been nicely promoting their airlines, and it is impossible for someone to not travel in one of their flights. I hope that the opportunity for the same shall come someday.

The number of Indians outside the nation has been steadily increasing, and so is our population. In this case, may Lufthansa be a big boon for India, especially its giant aircraft. There is ever increasing globalization, and the world will only get closer to each other as time progresses. I once again wish Lufthansa best of luck in making nations and people closer to each other. Best wishes to the aviation industry as a whole too. Cheers to #LufthansaA380 and Indiblogger. *The images used here are  taken from Indiblogger’s #LufthansaA380 contest page and cropped, and therefore belongs to Lufthansa.

TeNy

Diversity has its Unity

Do check Lufthansa TVC

There is something about pride being the Devil’s favourite sin. But what Mephistopheles hopes to thrive on as per the instructions of Lucifer is rather that pride that a man or woman has on oneself and that selfishness which boosts vanity; it is what the Devil always roots for in man among the Seven Deadly Sins. It is from the lack of care for the other that the pride arises, and it has made man fall beneath the abyss, just like Christopher Marlowe had shown us with the example of Doctor Faustus in a tragic story of human devastation.

With a population that goes above a hundred crores and having a wonderfully diverse culture, an outsider will always have the tendency to think that India is not one – but that is not true. We are one, and this unity among ourselves is rather boosted by the diversity that is there. We actually love the customs of others and respect it, and there lies the pride which extends to the one who is seemingly outside one’s culture, but still part of one’s own extended family. There are exceptions, but considering our population, they are very few. It is a strong message for the outside world.

Sameeksha @kalady, promoting inter-religious harmony (taken on Sony DSC-W180)

Sameeksha @Kalady, promoting inter-religious harmony (taken on Sony DSC-W180)

Here comes the question of being proud, yet again. Yes, we have the right to be proud about our nation, and it is entirely different from being proud of oneself boosting that vanity. This right to be proud is something that we gain by doing something for the nation and keeping its traditions alive rather than something that comes up only when Indian cricket team wins the World Cup or as the means to abuse people from other countries. You are part of a nation by birth, which is rather the accident and you earn the right to be part of the nation when you do what is good for your country. Here, we can see that it includes people who are different from oneself, coming from different cultures.

I remember what I was told when I was a child – that India is a lot like Europe, but we have always had people who had chosen to stay close to each other despite having different languages, religions, cultures and traditions. It is something that would have been entirely difficult at the early times, but has been managed since 1947. We have been one nation of different people who have respected and celebrated our differences like no other nation. It is a message that India has for the world, to respect the other, and it is a message that India should always carry. It is that message that the majority of Indians have had with them.

Lufthansa does portray the Indian side as they could, but the fact remains that India is not just the land of Bollywood, Namaste and one kind of food. India has strong movie industries in the South, with Tamil movies having a huge fan following (I remember seeing the posters of Anniyan at parts of Malaysia), and there are Malayalam movies always coming up with the intellectually superior stuff plus there are also the strong Telugu and Kannada movie industries. Cinema of West Bengal always had my attention, and the film-making occurs in rather too many languages for someone from another nation.

Kadamattom, a mix of different myths - the passage to underworld (taken on Nokia N95)

Kadamattom, a mix of different myths – the passage to underworld (taken on Nokia N95)

And in the case of namaste, there can also be namaskaram, vanakkam, namaskar and many others changing throughout the nation. At the same time, the diversity of food is rather mouth-watering, and not something to worry about. This existence and the respect for diversity is something that India can give to the rest of the world. There is the message of peaceful co-existence and harmony is something that some part of the world does seem to agree with and some other parts need to check and think about. Everywhere in the world, we see wars over small disputes and nations wishing to divide themselves on the basis of something or anything just increasing the number of world nations further, and we wonder why it is so hard to live with people who are different.

There are not many things as beautiful as having a diversity among people. It certainly supports love and care for those who belong to different races. Some people would feel that diversity is a curse and having the same kind of people who think alike will support unity further. But that is clearly not the point as far as you can go through India. There will always be one reason or the other for people who want to hate and divide. In India, it is the diversity that is the beauty which powers the unity, and when we realize that and love the other, it is the message that we pass on to the world, and it is what it needs as turbulence is always waiting for a chance. This example that India has set surely has made some impact already, and it is undeniable.

*The above photos were all taken by me. This blog post was written in relation to the “More Indian than you think” contest from Lufthansa India in association with Indiblogger. Please do visit the link below for further details about the same:
http://bit.ly/MITYTIndiblogger

TeNy