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What is India?

May 24, 2012  by: Sarika  Points: 35   Category: Others    Views: 837

This article is about an experience of mine which I would like to share with the readers.


What is India?

I am an Indian. This is my identity, my recognition and the whole world looks at me that way. I left my motherland and came to fatherland (Germany) few years back in search of better education and life prospects with lots of dreams, hopes and expectations. Living alone in a foreign land – I would say – is an experience and a challenge together. Things did work out for me as I was fortunate enough to find some nice people around and make friends with. One day one these friends invited me for a get together at her new home. It was a house warming party (as it is called here) which is traditionally known to us as “Grahapravesh”. I am not a party person but I could not say no to her and accepted the invitation. It was a fancy dress party and I remembered that when I was at my friend’s doorsteps. She opened the door and greeted me. Late she introduced me to some of the people and among those one girl exclaimed ”Wow what a nice dress!!!”. Before that day I never knew (in fact could never dream) that my traditional “Salwar kameez with duppatta” will one day become a fancy dress. I said thanks and explained that it is the traditional wear. Anyway, it was a very lively get together with lot of people. I was the only foreigner and to be precise I was the only Indian alien in the German population of that party. I spoke with many people, many of them had been to Indian and my friend who threw this party had been to India three times already. I was surprised to see their enthusiasm to know more about India and Indian culture. And what is better than having an Indian to answer all your questions. People started asking, some asked about food, some about clothes, some about colorful marriages, but one question which was put forward to me at the time when I was leaving and which straightaway left me paralyzed for a moment was

“What is India”?

“I beg your pardon” Indian responded.

“What is India? I mean, I have been to India two times and to different places and every place is different from the other. I have read a lot. If you look at Rajasthan it is so unique and if you look at Kerala or Tamil Nadu there is no comparison. What is India? It is Rajasthan or Kerala or Tamil Nadu or Kashmir or Orissa or Mumbai or Goa? What is it?” German girl asked.

Thoughts were rushing in the Indian brain now.

First thought:
“Does she know the names of all the states”?

Second thought:
“Is she really interested in India or she is just making my fun”?

Third thought:
“What is that she is so confused about”?

Fourth thought:
“What shall I answer? I am the voice of my country now. I have to stand for my India. I should dig deep and look for an impressive answer”.

Then the Indian thought by putting herself in German shoes and realized:

“I can understand this difficulty of understanding because their own country is only as big as Madhya Pradesh”

Now it was the turn of the Indian and she spoke:

“Well, I guess this diversity is what makes India, INDIA. I think this is the reason why at first place you are interested in it and trying to explore more. India is not called the land of culture and traditions just like that. It truly is. No other land like this exists on the face of this earth. Every part of India is unique and that is why it is so attractive. No matter how different places or people are from each other, they are still united as ONE and that is what matters. I would say, “Unity in Diversity” is what India is all about. I can understand that as an outsider you are confused about this concept but being an Indian I am absolutely clear about it”.

That German girl gave me a smile and I returned the same. I wished her goodnight and took my leave. On my way home I kept thinking, I said all that because I had to say something, but now for the first time I realize how true it is. Being an insider I could never appreciate this fact. I was born and brought up in India but still could never properly understand the truth. Now I know I belong to a unique land. I BELONG TO INDIA. I AM AN INDIAN.

Author: deepa        
Posted Date: 05/25/2012    Points:3    

wow, I loved reading this. India is a big country full of different people and cultures, but as my mother in law says, there are five fingers in a hand and yet all are different, but are they not part of the same hand? similarly our country is so wide, so varied but our culture is stable because our family system is strong. Jai Hind.
Author: Abhijit Bangal        
Posted Date: 05/26/2012    Points:3    

I also loved reading this conversation. Actually I had written a similar piece of article with dialogues about two years ago. At that time I had just started to write online and didn''t know what to write on. So, I stumbled upon my own experience to write an article for. I had written that article just to appease my writing insect that was troubling me for a while then. You took me into a nostalgic period for sure.
Author: Sarika        
Posted Date: 06/04/2012    Points:4    

thanks a lot Deepa and Abhijit. It makes me glad that people enjoy my articles. This article is a personal experience of mine and I was so thoughtful that day that I decided to pen it down. Like I said I could not appreciate the beauty of Indian diversity as long as I was there but once I was out and had to look at my country from others eyes then I realized how they look at us and why they are so fascinated by us. It was a revelation for me.

thanks again for stopping by and reading my article.

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