Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Indian Problem

Travelling from Paris to Aix-En-Provence (a city in south of France) in a TGV train is an amazing experience. 800 kms in 3 hours-Well o Well! Having a look at the French country side that accompanies you on this journey, or for that matter on any train journey in this beautiful country, brings a whole lot of positive energy. You can’t help but say-This is the place to be!

Coming to France is my first trip outside India and I think it is a country that just has so much that I wish we had in India. You step on to the roads and you will realise that there is not a single piece of waste lying outside. You try to cross a zebra crossing and you will realise the respect people give to people travelling on foot. Look at the light turning red and HALT! Ask anything, say anything and whatever the conversation be; it will always end with “Merci” or “Thank You” as we know it in English. Visit a museum and look at the way the masterpieces have been preserved.

The first thing one looks out for at traffic lights in India is the traffic police, so that you can break the rules at the first given opportunity. People travelling on foot live a nightmare when they just can’t cross the road as no one will stop the car/bike/bus/truck for them. Someone asks you something weird and your reactions vary from “Kya!” to “I am in a hurry” to “Pagal lagta hai” to “Idiot” etc etc. I am not saying everyone does this, but most do.

And I think, France is heaven and India is so far away.
But in the same train, looking at the same country side, I find myself listening to Hindi/Punjabi songs on my phone. Then I start to think on opposite lines. Is it possible that the problem is not with the nation but with our attitude towards our nation? What is it that we have that some of the so called modern countries don’t? My language, my music, my movies and a whole lot of other things will be lost if I ever settle outside India. This makes me introspect-This is something I just can’t have here

Step onto any street of Delhi or Mumbai at any point of the day and you will see a world of activity going on. You find so much energy in whatever we Indians do. The loud music, the high pitch of our speech etc can be taken as us being loud but I think it just shows us to be expressive and passionate. Ask an Indian mother, who is the son of her sister’s brother-in-law’s nephew (not the sister’s son ofcourse  ) and in most probability she won’t take more than a second to answer. We love our relations and these relations are a chain that has no end. I don’t remember when was the last time I had food and someone didn’t take a bite of two from my plate. This is something unknown in this part of the world. Isn’t it amazing to share your food with friends and family, it just shows so much love and affection.

We have some of the most hard working and smart people in the world. An average Indian shop runs from 9 to 9 against 11 to 7 in France. As lovely as the Louvre might be, I can’t help but think-If we had not been stolen from umpteen times by people all across the world, we would still have all our relics and the resources to preserve them. If we had not been the victims of fate, we would still have been the “Golden Bird” and people would have had food to eat and the energy to take care of the surroundings. With 40% of the country not getting proper nourishment, a clean and crisp surrounding is a bit too much to ask as people have a lot more serious issues to worry about.

I am in no way trying to demean any other nation. Ofcourse there is a lot that is there to learn for us from the West. Every country, every society has quite a lot that it can teach the world. We Indians ourselves have started to think that we don’t have anything to share which is totally false. Let us not be critical, let us try to change!


Sharan Saini said...

As they say, going away from something makes u realize the importance of it, it so proved right. The Indian spirit, vibrance, diversity and "apnapan" is hard to find anywhere else

Brijender Singh said...

India !
The more you say about it,the less adequate it seems.
We are downright uncouth,selfish, idiotic,hedonistic,overbearing.... and the list goes on.
Our trains are slow,our roads are a joke,our governance is lax,our society is too divisive in its structure.

Yet,you just cannot escape the fact that this is home-nothing can remind you of the warmth of belonging as much as the smell of paranthas wafting in.

So the bottom line is, can one trade nimbu ka achaar for a croissant?

adarshs said...

@Sharan...ya...india is home n home is home :)

@brij sir...nimbu ka achar any damn day....n ofcourse paranthas to accompany it :)

Sidra Sayeed said...

I've taken the train across the French Riviera and yes the experience is pristine and enjoyable. If you're a little cuckoo you almost miss the dusty air of Delhi or any other busy city for that matter. The Louvre is as exciting and exciting can get, you might even learn a new meaning to the word while walking through relics of history! Walking across Stratford upon Avon and realizing that this is where Shakespeare once resided. Ahh and visiting many more such places can be an overwhelming experience and hence the perfect reason for reflection.

I love India but I also love the multicultural experience that many other cities in the world have to offer.

One can draw many parallels and chalk out the differences but I think the true definition of it all depends entirely upon individuals.

Yes looking at the organization and the communion among passengers getting on the metro in Paris might not always remind us of the Delhi Metro's but at the same time there are lots and lots of factors that contribute.

I can go on and on about this subject but I'll stop here. Perhaps this can be the subject matter for a post at a later date.

You post did not claim to declare a right or a wrong and that is hard to do with a subject like this. Kudos for that! Will stay tuned for more on your travels.

adarshs said...

@sidra...thanks a lot....i m loving france and i love india much more because that is home...n i think our home needs to be made better....will keep writing abt d travels wud b glad to hear ur views...

prachi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
prachi said...

well said adarsh sir....apt....nd i u mentioned....the problem lies not in d nation bt our attitude towards r nation....unless we change ourselves, nothing will ever change...

adarshs said...

@prachi...thanks a lot for droppin in....i totally agree wit is us who can bring in a change hence we need to try doin d same...