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

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