With Thanksgiving just behind us and Christmas, the season of joy, sharing and gratitude right around the corner, here are 10 things that you should give thanks for in India. Now whether I mean genuine gratitude or the sarcastic, passive-aggressive Gandhigiri type, I leave it to you to conclude which is for which. Go figure!
We all like our Norinder Mudi jokes and taking digs at Madamji and Pappu, but all this and more is possible only because the forefathers of our nation believed in giving the power to the people. Be grateful for being in the largest democracy of the world and getting an actual say in what happens in the country. A look at some of the other non-democratic countries will make you want to kiss our constitution.
2. Maa ke haath ka khana
If you live at home and complain about the roti subzi your mother makes for you daily, all we have to say is; “boy will you realize how wrong you were once you move out!” No mess food or restaurant food will ever come close to the simple and nutritious yet delicious and laden-with-love food you get at home.
3. Desi food in general
We Indians don’t eat to live, it’s the other way around. Our festivals, occasions etc are characterised by specific varieties of food. Be it rajma chawal and paranthe, momo and thukpa, laal maas and dal baati churma, vada pav, dosa (we could literally go on forever)… no other cuisine will offer the variety that ours does.
4. Our freedom fighters
From Patel and Bose to Azad and Bhagat Singh, these names have evolved from mere history lessons to real heroes and idols. Through stories told by parents and grandparents, newspaper articles and the magic of cinema, they have come alive and become truly “amar”. If it wasn’t for their painstaking efforts which inculded going to jail, being tortured, going underground, leaving their families, mobilising an entire nation and the ultimate sacrifice, who knows how our motherland would be today. Bow down to these great leaders.
Designers and fashion conscious folk across the globe are dying to get a piece of the pie that is traditional Indian wear with art forms like zari, zardozi, bandhni, paithani and many others gaining mass popularity. You should be grateful that you can simply walk up to the bazaar and ask your crafty tailor to whip up a gorgeous ensemble for you, a la fairy godmother from Cinderella. To understand the actual value of desi poshaak, ask some of your friends living abroad about the reactions they get when they go traditiona. Maybe you won’t crib about having to wear a kurta or a sari at the next fuction.
The songs, the clothes, the dialogues and the stories, they have all influenced our ideas of family, romance, villainy and many other real life concepts. It is almost impossible to not sing Tip tip barsa paani on a rainy day or dance to Mehndi lagake rakhna and Bole chudiyaan at weddings; or if your name is Rahul, follow it up with Naam toh suna hoga ( for Vijay it is Vijay Dinanath Chauhan, baap ka naam……etc). Apart from awesome songs and cheesy dialogues, the Hindi film industry has also produced gems such as Mother India, Kagaz ke Phool, Pyasa, Mera Naam Joker, Lagaan, Swades and many other films which received global appreciation.
7. Politicians and Media
They make ridiculous statements; for example “I am here for the servicing of the people”, “Pharoot taree” (fruit tree), and more recently “dented and painted”. They love scams and their fashion sense is pretty bland. But let’s be thankful to our politicians for imparting their wisdom, sharing knowledge, showcasing their “walk-out” and chair-throwing skills and several other very entertaining features they possess. Our newspapers and TV news channels would perish without them. And be thankful for the “sansani” driven media too. Gaur se dekhiye iss chehre ko….aur kahiye Thank you!
8. Religious and regionalistic pride
“Sonpari is better than Shaktimaan” the toddlers argued, “Gandalf is better than Dumbledore” the teenagers argued. “My deity whose existence hasn’t been proven but whom I believe in is better than yours” argued the adults. Oh, and it didn’t stop there. It went on to “My deity was here first, this building is where he/she was actually born” and several other related clauses.On similar lines was the “My language and geographical region is superior to yours” argument.
I’m not saying anything. Just that, Sonpari, Shaktimaan, Gandalf and Dumbledore were all awesome. Be thankful for them all.
You’re still in bed at 10, and work began at 8? Well, fret not, because it’s likely that the rest of the office did that too. Trains and flights reaching on time are a pleasant surprise and a delay of an hour or two is normally anticipated at any event. “Indian Standard Time” has penetrated our punctuality, or lack thereof, to such an extent that now when someone says they’ll be there by 7, it is assumed that they’ll reach by 8 or 8.30. You can’t really take this liberty anywhere else, be grateful India!
Be utterly grateful for the fact that women don’t have toilets to use and get abducted when they go to relieve themselves elsewhere. That girls think twice before using public transport or even getting into an elevator with just one or two other men. That parents teach girls not to do anything to provoke the boys because ladke toh aise hi hote hai. That girls aren’t at liberty to choose what they wear or who they date/sleep with/ marry. Be very grateful.
By: Jui Mukherjee