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.



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.


FPFS5: Through the Window


Here is a small part of the speech that Uncle Dracula made for the All-Vampire Conclave at Transylvania. The same is part of the Grand Vampire Studies syllabus which has been approved for eighty seven percent of the vampire academies around the lands that operate between the humans. It was titled “Looking Through the Window During the Season of Chaos and Destruction”, and the Vampire Bat has chosen to share this one here. If you have any problems with the same, you are free to travel to the Dracula Castle and give him your opinion.

“…..still, it has been my duty and privilege to make sure that we get to equality as soon as possible. Do forget what I said before the word ‘still’ though, because it is not really a word that suits the vampire leadership and what came before that rarely becomes the right point. We were chosen, and we are highly experienced leaders, as it is known. So, kindly choose to forget what I said before the word ‘still’. I do choose to see you as my equals on this day. I am chosen for this post by all of you only due to my experience, and we are equals otherwise. I have never forgotten that fact throughout my eternal life.

I want you to look at a few humans. They speak of equality, but there is none. You go anywhere and you can see the same. It is not there in the places of worship or among the people outside the religion who preach the same. There is only a life based on vanity which has no place for equality. People pretend, and in the end, they can say that inequality and hatred are my choice; that much they can achieve for themselves in the end. Humanity stands divided more than the vampires do, and the divisions will only increase as time passes. There will be more people who pretend to work hard for equality because that is to bring them fame, and they will be more equal than the others.

Then, what do these people who pretend to strive for equality really want to achieve? Is it your choice to pretend and hate? There are the some people who deny that men could ever be harmed, and that they could ever face prejudice, because these people think that men can have anything or do anything whenever they want. For some of them, men are not really people who deserve equality. According to them, only one section can be wronged. The biggest shame is that most of these people come from a higher strata and have found it easy in their lives, and when they see the common man who struggle with their problems, they have this tendency to preach equality more, knowing nothing of the struggle that a human being has to go through in a society which demands more and more.

They think that men are born with ease through their lives. Yes, some of them are, but the big shame is that when they look through the window, they can only agree to have seen a few things and they pretend not to be aware of a few others. They look out through the bloody window and see only the tides coming towards the beach on which they have parked their expensive cars with ease. They say that these tides are always against them without setting their feet on the sand. We see other people who are losing almost everything in the tides, but these people which I have mentioned never really see those who are certainly more subaltern than them. How can they see and talk about the same as they were born with silver spoons in their mouths and vanity covering their eyes. Everything comes with power, and these people are with the power of self-created blindness. Hypocrisy comes out of nowhere, doesn’t it?

All those who have used something that they have gathered through a certain type of reservation have absolutely no right to talk about equality. The true equality has to be checked right between every type of people, and if you are talking about one caste, community, religion, social/economic group or gender, you have no right to call for equality. Don’t use the past to justify your right to hate others. You learn a few words like patriarchy, chauvinism, nationalism, racism, misogyny, communalism, socialism, patriotism, empowerment and so on just for using them here and there, and starts preaching for something on which you have no idea about – what do you gain by preaching hatred with your evil minds?

It was never about hatred, and it was never to be achieved alone or for one particular group. The first thing to do here is to treat the other as your equal and understand that another person in another category can have the same problems as you; support him and don’t hate him just because you have a bloody generalized opinion about him. Can equality thrive when based on the hatred for the other? Shouldn’t equality have roots in love or something more lasting than the eternal hatred which is easy just for now? You can come to the cemetery tomorrow and I will show you what equality really is as you look at those tombs of…..”

I have been tagged by Maniparna to take part in the Five Photos Five Stories (FPFS) challenge. This challenge works like: You post pictures for five consecutive days (with possible discounts like sometimes changing to alternate days :D) and attach posts to it, fiction, poem or short write-up. It can be anything that suits your taste. I am also tagging my friend and awesome blogger, Anoop on Day Five, as part of the challenge, and this ends the series. 

***The image used in this blog post was taken by me on my Sony Cybershot DSC-W310 camera.