I wanted to do a List today. Yes, jot down points on a certain idea or subject. What I thought I would write on started with a reflection about the day I have had, the aspirations I am clinging on to and the connections I am striving to build. Conversely, at present what I am going to write about is going to be entirely different and perhaps out of the ordinary. I am going to talk in relation to India. The post that I am doing today will speak on the good, the bad and the ugly in this mystifying nation where I have been born and brought up. For those who have been in India and lived here, these are not going to be revelations of any sort, but they might just put across my point and outlook about the positives and negatives of being an Indian. For those who are unfamiliar to our ethnicity and customs, this post might turn out to be a little unbelievable, slightly raw and will tend to bring you closer to India at least by means of words and emotions.
I start with what I detest about the country because I want to set aside the good part for the end. I like it that way.
FIVE THINGS I HATE ABOUT INDIA:
- There is immense corruption in the country at all levels. I know it does come handy sometimes, but it spoils the entire being of the land. In general, in this country, if you have the right contacts and enough money, you’re through every problem. Talent, honesty and diligence are normally secondary.
- You’d find a lot of demagogues here. The politicians have the penchant of making false promises and abstaining from them at a later time. During elections, there’s a war to be a part of the constituency which is usually not because the contestant wishes to make a change, but because they desire to upgrade their personal standard of living and reputation.
- The country is marred by many superstitions. People are spiritual but it often goes in the wrong direction. Some endow huge amounts of money and jewellery on temples, holy saints and the idols of God, however; an equivalent total is rarely used for constructive ideas like enhancing literacy, funding the poor and helping the sick and disabled.
- The law and order is flawed. This typically comes as a consequence of ‘corruption’. People do not take the law seriously. If you file a case against some crime, you can expect it to go on forever. Due to poverty and lower economic standards, people go to enormous levels of fraudulence and disregard for others’ lives. You can expect to find an insect in the food you are eating at a cafeteria or hear about children dying after eating the midday meal at a government school (happened very recently) and even after all of this, believe me, you’d consider it ordinary.
- In India, if you’re a girl, you’d know because there’d be prejudice in small amounts but at each stage. Further, the caste system still prevails and marriages out of the caste are looked down upon. Your aspirations and ambitions largely depend on your family and what they expect from you. If you ask me to brief this point: in India, it’s challenging to make decisions for your life at your own discretion.
FIVE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT INDIA
- It’s a colourful country. That’s the first thing I could consider after closing my eyes and whispering ‘India’ to myself. You can see all sorts of people, dressed in all sorts of outfits. There are women magnificently attired in saris, with accessories like bangles and earrings and at the same times there are women dressed in skirts, jeans, shorts and shirts. When you enter India, that’s what you’d notice first: Diversity.
- The next word I want you to emphasize on is FOOD. So, this country which has twenty-eight states and seven union territories has more than thirty varieties of food. That’s how astonishing the culinary experience gets here. If you are a food enthusiast (like me) you have to come to India and try out the diverse cuisines this place has to offer. You will never regret this. If there’s one thing I love about being Indian; it’s unquestionably the food.
- When you talk about India as a colourful country, you ought to talk about festivals and carnivals as well. Over the spread of the entire year, people all over the country celebrate myriad events ranging from Holi which is played with colours and water to Diwali which is celebrated with fire-crackers and lights. We observe Eid, Christmas, Baisakhi, Pongal, RakshaBandhan, Lohri and numerous other festivals together with the same spirit and friendliness
- The country is deeply rooted in its values and ideals. There is a lot of love, devotion and splendour in relationships and alliance. I guess it’s not always a bad thing to let go of your pleasure for the bliss of those you love. That’s what prevails here. India is a warm and gracious place. There’s an incalculable ‘togetherness’ in its environment.
- You’d find talent in every nook and corner of the country. You name it and we have it. What astonishes me is that most of the people here work things out with their own hard work and determination. I can truthfully let it out that in a broad-spectrum we do not get massive assistance from the country’s organizations and constituency like the other nations. The Indians at the Olympics or those in music or National Science Conferences or just any international platform have struggled a million times more than their foreign counterparts to get to where they are today. That makes us strong. India is a strong country, entirely.
If you haven’t been to India, I’d just say: Do visit. It’s going to be a breathtaking experience.
For the rest of you, tell me in the comments section below what you think of the country. I’d love to read your opinions.