The North, the head is covered with snow. Beautiful Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal and Punjab mesmerizes with its natural beauty. The Himalayas stand tall guarding the country from calamities and intruders. Rivers originate and flow across the country talking care of the mankind. The Dal lake and Gulmarg, Leh - Ladhak, Buddhist monastery and divine beauty of Dharamshal in the north. Majestic Sikkim, tea plantations in North east, Water falls, National parks and beautiful architecture at India ka Dil – Madhya Pradesh, Portuguese churches, and excellent beaches at Goa, beautiful Konkan in the west, the golden beaches at Visakhapatnam, Jog falls of Shimoga District one of the highest waterfalls in Asia. South is blessed with wildlife sanctuaries, National parks and home to more than 500 species of birds. The natural beauty doesn’t require any introduction. God’s Own country – Kerala and the southernmost tip where the three great oceans confluences, a sight to freeze in eyes! From snow covered white land to sandy deserts, mountains to plains, waterfalls and forests, plateau and dense vegetation, the mother land has it all. She is very beautiful!
The country has been ruled by so many rulers who left behind their trademark architectural styles. It is evident in temples, forts and palaces. Taj Mahal, Qutub Minar, India Gate, Lotus temple, French colonies at Pondicherry, Charminar, oh, I can go on and on… I guess a life time will be insufficient to explore the land completely.
A nation where a single God is worshipped in 33 crore different forms and names. Tirupati, the abode of Lord Venkateswara, the Dilwara temple at Mt. Abu, Ajmer sherif, the Hindu holy shrines of Amarnath and Vaishno Devi, twelve Jyotirling situated across the nation, the Puri temple and the Golden Temple in Amritsar are few famous temples among the millions worshiped in India.
The country is united by forming states on the basis of languages. Each state has its own peculiarities. It is diverse in culture, traditions, languages and outfits. The festivals are celebrated in different ways yet the spirit is the same. The food is prepared differently and tastes different yet it smells Indian! Be it Dal Makhani, Aaloo Paratha, Sarso da saag – Makke di roti, Daal Baati, Puran poli, Thepla or curd rice…there is an Indian-ness in the aroma!
And about people! Aahhhh… trust me nothing like an Indian! You call them Gujrati, Marwadi, Bengali, Tamilian, Mallu or a Delhite - they all remain Indian at heart. ‘Atithi Devo Bhav’ is an integral part of the Indians. They are the best in hospitality. No matter how much the guest would refuse, he atleast gets a tea to drink. Warm at heart, generous in attitude and helpful by nature. He may be wearing a branded suit, a dhoti or a pyajama, she might be wearing a saree or a salwar suit or a jeans top, billion heartbeats are united by a single spirit of patriotism. Cricket is religion. When Sachin Tendulkar gets out, the television sets gets switched off. India might be at a verge of losing the match, something like 56runs for 5 wickets and need 230 runs to win, yet there is that corner of the heart hoping and praying, give us victory God.
It is a young vibrant nation. People elect the government in the democratic constitution. It is a land of great leaders. No matter how corrupt the politicians are, no matter how many times the aam aadmi is cheated, no matter how many holes the inflation has created in their pockets, they are alive with a hope. A hope of brighter tomorrow. A hope to lead the tomorrow in a better way. The middle class entrepreneur nature keeps the spirit high.
They display their unity in difficult times. Be it 26/11, Mumbai train blasts, Tsunami or the recent cloud burst at Leh, the love for fellow Indians bring them together. They have this amazing energy to fight odds and find a way out. They know they are just few miles away from becoming a super power. The world is watching them and sooner or later the world would start follow them. Or have they already started following?
fOoD fOr ThOuGhT: Temples, history, rulers, forts, - it’s a country to be preserved. Not just the flora and the fauna, not just the geography and season, it is the people who have made it a great nation!
"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit; Where the mind is led forward by Thee to ever-widening thought and action - Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake."
PS: When I thought about writing on India, the holy land…I thought would I be able to comprehend my feelings in a post with limited words and unlimited emotions? On the eve of Independence Day… here is my tribute to the mother land. (Wanted to post it before 15th Aug, but it is a very difficult subject to express completely and yet keep it short.) I am still reading it over and over again and wondering if I have done justice in describing the mother land! :)