I am an indian. Well that is not news to anyone. But as i spend more and more time with people who are not from here but based here, i can see some of the little indian traits that are original to me that appear and dont seem to vanish ever.
These traits surprise even me. they come in the middle of a conversation and i sit there stumped wondering where this sudden nationalistic spirit has come, given that i am not a jingonistic mera bharat super mahan person. As in i love my country, but am not blinded into seeing only the positives of it..
some things that seem embedded to my india dna spirit are:
- i cant eat with fork and knives and feel like i have eaten, a good meal remains piping hot dal, some veggies and all mashed up with heaps of the chutneys and bhujiya thrown in for good measure. i can appreciate a great salad and a super pasta, but they remain "novelty meals" the khanna has to be the freshly made hot off the pan food that is quintessentially recognizable for the oily mess it is..
- Cannot understand the ostentatious obsession with mineral water and the need to wash everything with it, bacteria, fungus, cockroaches and mosquitos are all house hold pets and sort of live with you
- an inherit shyness in displaying affection in public. somewhere there its deeply rooted, holding hands is fine, hugging is fine, kissing on the cheeks, boderline, more than that.. hmm daring but aaaahh aaaaaah makes me go red .........
- obsession with a tomorrow. ok maybe this is not an indian thing as much as a female thing,. the need to know where from here it goes
- reverence for knowing cooking for everyone, everything must be done in a group and i must include everyone in everything. its critical else feels wrong
- deep attachment to bollywood
- unbreakable bond to defend the nation even when the attack is justified
- finding reasons to justify almost any notion about the nation from suicides to the reason we need to yell across the coffee shop
- Feeling shackles rise when factually true comments about lack of good cheese etc are made. It is true, but even then i feel defensive and have no idea y!
Shobha De once said, you can go anywhere you may choose in the world but the fact that you are Indian is a stamp that you carry with you no matter where you go. There is a undefinable stamp of it that remains no matter where you choose to transport yourself.
its in our accents, in how we define a relationship, in the expectations we have from a spouse, the diya we may want to light in the morning, our immense patience in the hospital to see a doctor and firecracker anger at the red light that makes us honk, in the way we sometimes chat up with the person standing next to us eating chaat, or bite our fingers as we try to figure out what to do with this fancy Pesto bottle we picked up.
From quoting some Vivekanda when it suits us, while wearing the latest London imported perfume sprinkled on the wrist, how we can ignore the beggar at the car door and not feel remorse and yet feel outraged when we see a man beating another. Its a mystery, a dilema and the things we take for granted are mindboggling the things we seem to accept without a hitch amusing, and yet in all this there is a little gentle soul only wanting to know u a little better, just so he can share his life tale with u... no matter if u dont want to know.