Carrying India in Me – Independence Day Special

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“Lakh Lubhayein Mahal Payare
Apna Ghar Phir Apna Ghar Hai!”

Kaviraj Shailendra (Jis Desh Me Ganga Behti Hai)

As a child, whenever someone mentioned the word patriotism, the mind would directly flash the song from the movie Upkaar with Manoj Kumar with a plough lip syncing to Mahendra Kapoor’s Mere Desh Ki Dharti Sona Ugle… And frankly speaking, I never took the emotion so seriously or rather I took it for granted. With time and wisdom hitting the brain, the importance of loving one’s motherland took a definite shape. However, the emotion hit me the hardest when I had to move away from my country, away from my people, only then I understood the real meaning of patriotism.
Relocation to another country is mostly considered a good move for growth. We might grow with material pleasures and opportunity to earn in a stronger value currency or even grow exponentially in our professional success ladder. There is nothing wrong in it, but if you are an emotional person, material growth and pleasures stop mattering after a point. Its been two years since I moved to another country. While getting vegetarian Indian food was my primary concern, my bigger concern was my connectivity with Indian films and music. I have always been a hard core desi at heart and one important thread is our Hindi films and its rich music indeed.
When I came to the foreign land two years ago, although I was happy to reunite with my husband after a gap of a few years,but the void of India and Indians around was very torturing. OTT platforms were my best friends and I was watching all my favourite films all the time. Strangely, the first movie I watched was “Jis Desh Mein Ganga Behti Hai”. The Iconic Raj Kapoor’s magnum opus, trying to bring the bandits back to mainstream and surrender. For some strange reason, I felt like I was one among the bandits. When Raju crooned to the lyrics of Shailendra “lakh lubhaye mahal paraye; apna ghar phir apna ghar hai!”, I felt he was talking to me from the screen.

The initial gloom of missing the country was unbearable, I would be depressed and crying in solitude most of the days after the husband and the kid went to their office and school, respectively. I felt my contribution to my country has gone down from much to none in no time. In every action or everything I bought, I would compare with my India products, Indian flavour and authenticity. I knew I was slipping into a zone, which probably was more harmful than sympathetic. At that moment, I watched Mohan Bhargav feeling the same when he returned to the US after a long and adventurous stint in India, Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera, Swades Hai Tera…

My husband tried many measures to keep me happy and cheerful, but nothing worked. One fine day, we went to a gathering where to my dismay, India was the subject of most satires and silly jokes. It was then the Indian in me came out like an eruption of a dormant volcano. Richness of India and its culture is legendary and as a true-blue Indian, my heart decided to show the insensitive foreigner the true picture of modern India. Like what Akshay Kumar did to the ignorant English men in Namaste London.

After this incidence, something inside me changed drastically. I felt I was wasting my time mourning unnecessarily. I am a true blue Indian and wherever I live, that cannot change my love for my country. India is not just another country, but it holds a lot of emotions with it. I should feel privileged that I got a chance to represent my country and showcase its richness beyond the boundaries. So, I decided to change my attitude and what made me feel sad earlier, was now my source of inspiration. Ae Watan Watan Mere Aabad Rahe Tu, Main jahan rahoo jahan me yaad rahe tu…

Yes! the new rejuvenated me, took to the centre stage and in a country where vegetarian food was scarce, I started my own home based catering service, serving authentic vegetarian food from all the parts of India. People who knew India only with Butter chicken or Idli sambhar were introduced to Dal Dhokli, Dal Bati, Pesarattu, BisiBele Bhat, Aloo Poshto and Nolen Gur payesh! What started as an experiment is now a success formula! I not just retained my India in me, I am glad to be spreading its aroma to whichever land I am in! I am a proud Indian who carries India in her heart and pompously says MOHE RANG DE BASANTI!
Dheemi aanch pe; Tu zara ishq Chadha
Thode jharne la; Thodi nadi mila



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