I is for India
My adolescence was more stimulating. We classmates indulged frequently in gossip sessions, sharing the intriguing and thrilling information overheard in bits and pieces. Fears, raw secrets, anxieties, mystery of wild rush of hormones and many other disquieting sensations , troubling young impressionable minds were common topics of conversation.
I grew up and realized that India had a soft corner for me. It provided all the avenues to educate me. My adulthood took me to the corridors of learning. Higher education via college and university matured my thinking and instilled in me a sense of proportion and confidence to take up teaching as a profession. That was a momentous period of great awakening and serious responsibilities as a lecturer at a college and a homemaker at home. Interaction with young minds and colleagues was most fulfilling and nothing less than life changing. For more than three decades, India blessed me with the capability to impart to the young the ability to acquire knowledge and step into the world to make a difference to their own and others’ lives by dreaming big.
Now I'm free and travel often. However, I may travel to any gorgeous place in the world but feel homesick soon enough. When I return and unlock my house the words ‘home sweet home’ flow out naturally.
My country’s cycle of seasons is incomparable. However, summers are nasty but monsoon rains feel like nectar from heaven. The cool, moist breeze after suffocating summers takes you for a ride on the proverbial cloud nine. During winters, the golden sunshine warms your limbs and promotes their functionality. The sunny and languid afternoons relax the mind and body. To cap it all, winters stand for the endowment of plentiful fresh, green vegetables, citrus fruit and loads of papaya. Spring ushers in riot of color, pleasantly blowing zephyr wafting vitalizing fragrance of flora in its youthful splendor.
India is a vibrant democracy with a unique blend of federalism. In spite of mind boggling variety of cultures, traditions, festivals, religious practices, languages, physical attributes, dress code, eating habits et al, India is a homogeneous nation state, encompassing all differences in its sacred fold.
In the political scene now, India is passing through a very challenging phase. General Elections to elect representatives for Lok Sabha (the lower house of Parliament) are scheduled for April 2014. The fiercest election campaigning by plethora of political parties is going on to woo the voters by fair means or foul.
For the last many years, our country has been facing a surfeit of problems but no redress. The pernicious practice of vote bank politics has blinded the politicians to think of the good of the country. They simply wish to grab power. Forgetting how to walk the talk, they’ve lost all credibility. I hope that minority communities who were hoodwinked all along have understood that they were taken for a ride and made a fool of repeatedly. Either by false promises or by creating nonexistent bogeys or by offering hopeless reservation carrots, they had actually been isolated from the mainstream and made more dependent on the insignificant doles.
India is a country of saints, sages, holy books, holy rivers, sacred places for pilgrimages, classical music, amazing dance forms, great literary traditions, superb theatrical performances, fine arts, crafts and much more.
All said and done there are palpable signs of the revival of keen interest in the political set-up by the citizenry. Sparks of enthusiasm auger well for the country.
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