Its Finally Sunday!!!
….. End of the week, beginning of the new month, a month that filled with a lot of holidays. A nice lethargy has set in and the pleasant weather that reminds one of hot cocoa (or Scotch).
It’s also the end of the my writing week. I have enjoyed writing for viehebdomadaires. More than anything else, it has shown me the discipline required to write everyday. I hope all of you have enjoyed reading my posts as much as I have enjoyed writing them.
Please do feel free to drop in at http://www.evanescentyears.wordpress.com. This is my personal blog where I write about evanescent moments in life.
Over the past week, in the middle of the Quarter End/ Half Year end rush, I did get to see India described very succinctly by an oft misunderstood Indian Diplomat/ politician Shashi Tharoor. Its one of the bet TED ideas speech I’ve ever heard. Here’s the Link:
India is a very complex nation, with such a conglomeration of languages, cultures, varied ethnicity, and identities. If i had to put my thoughts of India in a time capsule, that would be very difficult.
For Posterity, however, I would like to present the A-Z of being a part of India. Many thanks to Shashi Tharoor. This Compendium is an excerpt from his book- The Elephant, The Tiger and The Cellphone.
A – Astrology – Has not only survived but grown in importance. Marriages ae not arranged, flights not planned , elections not called until astrological charts are drawn up and consulted. An Indian without a horoscope is like an American without a credit card.
B – Bidi – India’s most original and long-lasting vice. Brown Tendu leaves rolled with tobacco and tied together with pink cotton. Low tar, instantly biodegradable and made of wholly natural ingredients.
C – Cows– As much a symbol of India as of Switzerland. The Veneration of the cow has become something of a cliché, masking the often depressing reality of the conditions in which Indian cows live and die.
D- Dowry- is the classic Indian social evil and the cause of much of rural India’s indebtedness, a great deal of human misery and sometimes the death of an unwanted bride usually in a ‘kitchen accident’. Unfortunately, there are still those who justify dowry as recompense for the parents of the son and many more ‘progressive’ people who argue that it is rally intended for the bridal couple to make a start in life. In our country, at times, social pressures are more powerful than legal or moral ones.
* For the record I think demanding dowry is one of the most despicable things a human being can do in life.
E- Eve Teasing – is uniquely an Indian activity. In a country where euphemisms exist for every thing, ‘eve-teasing’ with its coy suggestion of innocent fun, is, another euphemism that conceals the less savory aspects of national life. Calling it ‘assault’ or ‘molestation’ would be more honest and might do more to raise public consciousness against it.
G- Godmen-India’s major export in recent years, offering manna and mysticism to an assortment of foreign seekers in need of it. Most Godmen however, are content to manifest their sanctity by sanctimoniousness, producing long and barely intelligible discourses, into which their listener can read into whatever meaning they wish. If religion is the opium of the Indian people, godmen are God’s little chillum’s.
I- Indianenglish– A popular native dialect spoken with varying accents and intonations across the country. Indianenglish has its own rules of syntax (‘Why you didn’t come? It was good, no?’). After a rough day at work, we drink our chhota-peg’s, sign chit-books, don dhoti’s, and do pranam before going to bed!
K – Kamasutra – may well be the only Indian book which has been read more by lascivious foreigners than Indians. Written by Vatsyayana, long before the World knew about Harold Robbins.
M- Maruti- c 1975-1976, a wheeled object in the shape of an inverted bathtub, with scooter tyres and a smuggled West-German engine, produced by an unqualified engineer with government funds in a striking example of democratic socialism.
P- Paan– India’s answer to French Wine as an essential adjunct to a good meal. The distinction between a Kolkatta- patta and a Banarasi Mita is as significant as those between a Bordeaux and a Burgundy.
Q- Queues– Orderly lines of individuals seeking use of public facilities and services. Last spotted in a Delhi Bus stop in February 1977 and have never been the same since. Indians don’t mind their peace in queues.
T-Traffic– The Bane of all Indian Commuters. Only In India can one get stuck in a traffic jam at a non-functioning traffic light amid six Ambassadors in various states of disrepair, five Korean vehicles of assorted sizes, a Maruti almost crushed underfoot by a Tata Sumo, two minibuses facing each other, both on the wrong side of the road, a tram impotently ringing its bell, an autorickshaw with a broken silencer, a homesick cow, a small flock of goats milling about a zebra crossing and some 300 pedestrians picking their way gingerly through the confusion.
W- Weddings – are the classic Indian social event, glittering occasion for conspicuous consumption, outrageous overdressing and free food.
Z – Zoroastrianism – see ‘Parsi’ (This is the part of the Indian Spirit. It is also known as having the last laugh 🙂 )
Thank you very much for sparing your time reading this and I look forward to reading interesting snippets from other authors from different parts of the world.