Happy Republic Day to all my fellow Indians. Jai Hind. May our country be blessed with all the riches – especially of character and values.
Today we went to watch a newly released Hindi movie after many years… Usually we watch movies that have been recommended by Abhishek Rudra and sometimes it’s some of our other friends who give rave reviews for some movie. We walked down to Radhika Theatre and the yesteryear single screen theatre is now a Cineplex and part of a small mall. We had to walk up five floors since there was a huge crowd waiting for the elevators. Amma walked up the five floors and I had to stop her at each landing otherwise she will try and climb at a stretch, thinking the ordeal will end quickly, but her legs begin to ache :(.
The movie we watched was “Airlift” and it is about the evacuation of nearly 170,000 Indians from Kuwait in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait. The movie has been shot sensitively and the editing is brilliant, no time is wasted in unnecessary drama. The movie is a must watch and am anyway a fan of Akshay Kumar’s fitness. He just inspires you to stay fit naturally.
There is one particular shot in the movie when the Indian Tricolour is unfurled…. Every time I see the flag unfurling something happens and I feel a deep sense of pride in our country. Krishnan and I will never be able to emigrate to any other country. There were so many opportunities and many people have asked us why we don’t go off to the US or the UK and for sometime in Delhi, emigrating to Australia and New Zealand was hot. But, there was no motivation to even fill the form !. Yes the streets are dirty, there is corruption, there are too many people and just ensuring water supply to your house may take a week of followup but we can never leave. The smelly streets are getting cleaned, the corrupt are being caught or will be caught, too many people will reduce some day but I am home, and I can squabble, fight or debate with my family under my own roof. Our spirits don’t feel at home in any other place. India is inside our heart and it’s deep love for this country…
There is no country on Earth where we can eat a different cuisine every 100 kilometers, wear the saree differently in every state, where we can go dune bashing one hour and in three hours can watch the majestic Tiger in a forest…. Which other country’s capital city can boast of 1500+ historical sights and every bend in the road brings you to a monument ? The stunning carvings in the temples of South India that are 1000s of years old …. The world’s second longest beach, the stunning backwaters, the coffee and tea estates, the spices, the toys of Chennapatna or the Tibetan settlement at Kushalnagar. We can spend a couple of hours going through the historic Golconda Fort and in a couple of hours be at the iconic Medak church with some of the best stained glass paintings anywhere. No other country has the legacy of a Sam Manecksha, Subhas Chandra Bose, Swami Vivekananda, Ghalib, Thiruvalluvar, Rani Jhansi, Emperor Akbar, Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd Rafi, Illayaraja, M S Subbulakshmi, SPB, R D Burman, Bhagat Singh, Harivansh Rai Bachchan, JRD Tata….. The tea we drink comes from Darjeeling and Assam, packaged by a company in Gujarat and drunk in steel cups made in South India, with spices from Coorg and Kerala. There are hundreds of dishes that are eaten for breakfast alone ! The paintings in the Ajanta caves or the largest silver urn in the world that was used by the Maharaja of Jaipur to carry the water of the Ganga .. The sadhus, the fakirs and the monks, the bauls, the Sufis. Ah the stories of valour from the charismatic Chatrapati Shivaji, the fearless Prithviraj Chouhan, the brilliant Tipu Sultan to our resplendent Sikh and Rajput brothers in the modern day Indian army whose marching alone can make the enemy shiver …
I am not even venturing into the spiritual and the mystical world. This is the land of Osho, of Ramana Maharishi, of Kabir, of RamaKrishna, of Kanchi Paramacharya, of Nanak and of Adi Sankara – what more can one say ? Where else can we feel at home ?
I can go on … But obviously the movie today lifted our spirits and made us fall in love with India all over again.