No, this post is not about what you think this post is about 🙂
(If you are really curious, then yes, I am pleased that the nation has voted so decisively for a change, cutting across all sorts of supposedly insurmountable barriers, for whatever reasons).
We recently went to Singapore for a vacation. It was lovely, green and clean, everything working like clockwork, and it was a pleasure to just get on with your day without having to balance like a tightrope walker on non-existent pavements or go bump-bump-bump on pothole-ridden roads.
Of course the contrast to India when we returned could not have been starker. Roads that had been paved less than a month ago already sported manhole-sized potholes, vehicles jostled and honked loudly at each other, and when we returned home, the neighbourhood stray dog orchestra decided to launch at full volume, disruptive and annoying.
There are so many things to admire about developed nations. What I like best about them are the value-based systems that abound, be it as simple as unmonitored tram tickets or standing in a queue, or the fact that the common man can live corruption-free.
I do get annoyed with a LOT of things about our country, but what I love about it is that we still haven’t quite reached the stage where we are in complete control of everything, whether it is the temperature settings (agreed, you can’t survive without it in many countries), or stray cows on the road. If this is baffling, I agree. 🙂
Consider an argument that recently surfaced in our complex. It was about two stray dogs that had made our complex their home. They are now quite old. Half the folks were against having the dogs around for obvious reasons, while the other half rallied and came back with a argument for being more humane. The dogs still placidly go about their business, oblivious to the storm they have kicked up.
If this was in a different country, the dogs would have been taken away long ago, and, in my opinion, our apartment complex would have been a little less exposed to living harmoniously with other species (not just as pets, under our control).
I love that we give right of way to the cud-chewing bovines, we circle warily the stray dog packs, we sit quietly as monkeys wreck our gardens, and we ignore the pigeons kicking up a ruckus on the roof. Yes, it’s not a perfect world, and that’s why I love India. It gives us perspective, it puts us in our place, it allows us absorb that the world is not of uniform texture, but comes in all shapes, sizes, colours, and species. We, the humans, are not the centre of the universe, we have to continuously make room for others. The sheer diversity of our nation is mind-boggling, the differences huge, the variety enormous, the chaos crazy, and this is what makes me appreciate life in all its glory.
Every time I go out of India for a holiday, I am reminded why I decided to return instead of settling abroad. I love India. There’s really no other way to express it.
I completely forgot to add the trigger for this post. It was this Dear Abby letter I came across today.
DEAR ABBY: My sister-in-law is being married in September. I am in the wedding. My wife and I are having a baby in June, but the bride does not want to include my new baby. I think she is concerned people will pay attention to the baby and not her.
Many distant relatives will attend and this may be the only time they will see my son. She plans to invite more than 200 people. Am I right to be upset that my son, her nephew, is not invited? — JOHN DOE IN PLANO, TEXAS
DEAR JOHN DOE: I don’t think so. It’s the bride’s day, and you should abide by her wishes without complaining. If she prefers not to have her wedding disrupted by an infant who needs feeding or changing, it’s her choice.
Because you want to show off your new baby, bring along pictures and pass them around. I’m sure the relatives will be thrilled to see them.
I hope you get how this triggered off this post! 🙂