Saturday, April 23, 2016

R - Respecting where we come from

How many times have we made ourselves the butt of jokes just to evoke a few laughs? How many times have we belittled our country, tut-tutted at its ways and cribbed about how it has not evolved with time?

' should visit India. You will not survive for a day! " Followed by some shallow laughter.

'We invite a thousand people to our weddings. Our parents and people in India believe in spending all their earnings in conducting marriages. And you should see the bride, decked in complete gold. Its a sign of status in our society. Tch. Tch.'

'When you cross the road, you should look in all the directions...LOL!'

How many times have we been guilty of this ? It may seem harmless on the outset, but do we even realize what image we are forming of ourselves and our country in others' minds? Do we realize that we are representing our country in this big world? Why is it so important for us to detach ourselves from where we belong? Why is it so hard to show some respect to our home and not degrade our country?

Agreed, its all chaos, there are many things that are wrong with the country. Life isn't easy and everyday is a struggle. But it is what made us what we are today. I am not saying act as if these do not exist. I am not saying do not acknowledge the problems. All I am saying is treat your country like how you would treat your own home.

We belong there. Whether you like it or not, that's our origin. How much ever fun we make of it, it defines us, and in the eyes of the world, we are Indians.

Every day may be chaotic and a fight for survival .. but hasn't that made you what you are today, a fighter? 

Weddings are ostentatious and a huge investment of money, but the underlying emotions are as true as they can be. You may not share a deep bond, but don't you enjoy it when the larger family gets together, stays with you for days in your home and be a part of the celebrations? Dont you enjoy meeting your grandma's brother or your dad's aunt sometimes and hear stories of their childhood?

There is patriarchy in our country, the elders and the men get respected, whether they are the epitome of righteousness or not. This may be wrong in a few cases, but we can atleast appreciate the culture that asks of us to treat people with respect. Is respecting our elders, not answering them back such a bad thing ?

When parents become old, its the responsibility of the children to take care of them. How great is that? Don't you think we have to return the favor when they need it the most? Very few countries in the world follow this culture.

We have too many Gods, too many temples, too many religious practices that we do not understand and hence don't give a damn, we question everything that we don't know an answer for, yet, don't you feel at peace when you enter a temple after a long time? Don't you miss being woken up by the early morning Suprabhatam? Does it turn your insides up and down when you attend an Iskon bhajan? It does to me. Because it reminds me of what I am and where I came from.

And how about the late night debates you had with your dad on reincarnation, life after death, the concepts of heaven and hell and various other beliefs that our mythology taught us?

There are many things that we love and feel nostalgic about. Yet, somehow demeaning comes easily to us. Try talking about the good and interesting stuff for a change. Try not to bring up the flaws of our ways in conversations, instead, try talking about how it works for a population of 1.2 billion. Or better still, just shut up.

I think that's the least we can do. We, who have everything going for us. We, who do not do a thing to better our country. We, who have conveniently escaped the harshness of life there. We, who are trying to impress the world by mocking at ourselves.

PS: This post is specifically addressed to people who are living in different parts of the world, other than their home country.


  1. There have been occasions we used to wonder whether you would really embrace what our culture preached. Well! Deep within you you have all that a Bharateeyudu is supposed to have! The self righteousness, urge to not to overlook the Indian values. We saw it, we felt it while we lived you last year. Well! I am proud of you! While thoroughly appreciating everything that is best with Western culture, you have extolled all concerned to hail the motherland! Hope our brethren would appreciate your feelings! Keep it up!

  2. Haha ! I am sure I make a lousy patriot and an even more lousy religious person, but one thing that I can assure you of is I will always respect where I came from.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...