Archive for India

On a spiritual note

It is beautiful weather…finally in this banjar land called Gurgaon that I’ve inhabited couple of months back. It had been overcast for more than 36 hours but the overcast sky of Gurgaon looks very different from the images that most sane minds would conjure up. The insanely crazy amount of dust in this region contributes significantly in tarnishing the romantic beauty associated with it. So to be more precise, an overcast sky of Gurgaon looks more like a big ball of dust hanging above our heads ready to burst and less like the quintessential white fluffy cloud filled sky that makes you search for patterns in them. The difference is so stark that you consider the possibility of ‘it raining dust’ instead of water. Add to this a visibility of not more than 500 mts and you are all set to welcome the monsoons.

So, I had been ready to welcome the monsoons for more than 36 hours.  It was like a long pregnant pause before the clouds decided to let go and set free those life saving tiny droplets that probably were themselves suffocated in those heavily dust-laden clouds that they were trapped in and the result was – the intoxicated ‘saundhi-saundhi’ aroma of the freshly-wet, long-parched earth followed by miraculously plummeting effect on the dust levels and not to mention the humanly bearable weather at the end of it all.

First time in the last two months, I stepped out in the balcony at 6’o clock in the evening and instead of quickly rushing back in (which I was prepared to do holding the door with one hand), I let go of the door, dared to touch the not so dusty railing of the balcony, leaned over and took a deep breath. If I could run some tests right then, I’m convinced that I could prove how seriously ‘fresh-air’ deprived I was. I had almost forgotten what ‘wind in you hair’ phrase means any more so it was a nearly divine experience to feel that cool breeze in my face,hair and lungs. I was overwhelmed and enormosly thankful to God  for making me experience the weather that I used to take for granted just about 3 months back in the tropical landscapes of Panama.

‘India makes you spiritual’, said a friend some time back. I didn’t quite get it at that time but today, as I was thanking the almighty profusely for the lovely rains and the cool breeze, I realised what that phrase had actually meant. The thanking process, the gratefulness quotient for the most basic of things achieves an all time high in India taking you to new spiritual altitudes. We are thankful for each day of survival. For not getting oggled at, mugged, catching a deadly virus, choking with the pollution and dust or simply for not passing out in this insanely roaring heat. They say discomfort is the first step towards the attainment of the divine. I’ve taken the first step. The divine intervention is eagerly awaited.


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It was the first time for me. I watched a movie at a theatre in Panama with a hint of India in it. It took me thru this whole gamut of emotions that I experienced for the first time. These emotions had been playing hide n seek with me in the last six months of my stay in this alien land but the intensity with which they came over as I walked out of the theatre was almost frightening.

Though Slumdog Millionaire largely shows a part of India that I have not experienced very closely, but still it managed to take me back to those crowded streets of Mumbai sitting in an auto rickshaw. The movie was largely in english but  the slightest trace of  hindi made me jump up and smile ear to ear. The music score and songs stirred up some recessive corners of my heart.  I walked out of the theatre after the end credits and the Jai Ho song with brimming eyes that hungrily searched for a trace of the familiar.  Instead, all they could see was the alien chaos. Blonde women, spanish signages,  food stalls with no samosas, no sign of a churidar kurta clad girl, not a word of hindi from anywhere.

 The strong air conditioning blended perfectly with the cold feeling that had begun to set  in. Suddenly it struck me. The whole patriotic spiel that I had been fed on over the years rang in my ears blocking out every other noise. They were the same words that I had heard umpteen times while attending those Independence and Republic day functions at school and while overhearing the blaring television at home. The words, that always hovered around my ears but never managed to make their way to my heart, suddenly presented themselves in their full glory. I felt it for the first time. I felt Indian.

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