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GRAZING..... and greener grass

"Have you heard 'Sadi Gali'? I really like it." (Blank look) "Its from Tanu weds Manu" (Stunned silence)

After a few inexplicably long moments, I was asked where I had heard this song. My explanation that I had watched the movie did not seem to answer my friends' questions. I cant say I blame them, over the last 15 years, they have been able to drag me to a grand total of 3.6 Bollywood movies. They accused me of being an imposter. But what can I say? Spending half a year in the capital really increases the tolerance level of the mindless torture of most Bollys. Sometimes you even begin to miss it.

All my life I have been branded and put away into the 'Anglicised' category of the shelf. I can guess what earned me this laurel, its not easy to escape it being from a convent, and then a emigrant to the State and finally having a mother who is an English teacher. It probably didnt help my case when I chose to learn the drums (not the harmonium like a good Bengali girl) and take up swimming instead of dance. What sealed the deal was of course, my 'elitist' preference for watching sappy, mindless Hollywood over Bollywood.

But is being 'Indian' an honour reserved for those who spend all day discussing PCs rocky relationship with Shahid and debating about whether Rakhi's Swayamvar will have a Season 2?
I think the waters of India run deeper than that.

What passed unnoticed all these years was the tear that came to my eye when I stood along with hundreds of others and sang Jana Gana Mana. When I went to the river bank and drummed alongside the dhaki to say goodbye to Durga Ma. The open-mouthed awe with which I took in the Taj for the first time. The overwhelming emotions I felt when the Tricolour was raised at the CWG Village.
What passed unnoticed was the disappointment I felt when I was rudely told that I was 'tone deaf'. I would have to content with only listening to Rabindranath Tagore and Kishore Kumar.

What decides the matter though, are not all these passing moments. They are the very real, deep ties that I have to my family and friends. It is our ancient culture to embrace with open hearts and share with open palms.

We Indians may not be the best at implementation, but we are great, great dreamers. We may not always be on time, but we always find time for loving. We may live in the midst of acute poverty, but their is richness in our life.
And that's what makes me sure that I'm Indian to the core.

And don't you dare try to take that away from me!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Hey Pritha,
    I really liked the polite but firm stand you take in asserting your right to Indianness- on your own terms, and rightly so...
    Swimming against the current (both literally and metaphorically!) requires a lot of strength and will-power; but it has its own high too...
    So enjoy!!!!
    And keep writing...

  3. damn.. again and again u make me wish i could write like that man.. what a lovely read!

  4. :-)

    Love your tad-cynical, tad-funny, tad-sarcastic, tad-middle-finger-to-you tone when you write. Keep at it!


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