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

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