Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We are, They are #MoreIndianThanYouThink!

 I was 17 years old when I started working with the herbal practitioner. I occupied the place in their office cum house. After few days, I first time saw a foreigner in their house & I was intrigued by the sight of her. For 17 years old, it was intriguing in many ways.  

A blue-eyed Katrina flew down to India. She used to practice yoga in the morning & used to teach English to education-deprived boys. Rest of the evening, Katrina used to spend time exploring nearby places. 

It captivated me how one could fly down just to explore the huge & diverse country like us, thousands of miles away from her own home. She took a lot of interest in knowing about small things that made a huge difference for her. When it was time for her to go back, I gifted a set of colorful nail paints to her as I knew it would look beautiful on her fairy hands. 

Her entire stay with this herbal practitioner’s family made me ponder about several questions. Slowly & gradually, all the answers were unfolded right in front of me. 

Ayurveda (herbal) is as old as a hill in India & has been popular worldwide for ages. She chose to stay with the herbal practitioner's family. It was her first step not only to learn about India but think like an Indian

Indian herbs
Her keen interest in learning yoga wasn’t just a health purpose but it was another art, a science that India has always treasured & inherited from their forefathers while she learned it right here. 

My interaction with her was limited but I realized that Katrina was more mesmerized about my Indianness than I was with her foreign identity. She strongly felt about doing something for those children who were deprived of basic education. She taught foreign language while she was on an Indian soil. After initial hiccups, it wasn’t difficult for her to teach English to those boys who did not share the same mother-tongue. Both Katrina & the boys mingled so well as if the foreign word never existed in their dictionary. 

When she was departing back to her country, she not only took with her those eternal memories but her bag was a mix of everything. She took the essence of Indian culture with her. When she reached to her home country, she wrote back to us about things that kept her fuelled all these years. She left the country with being #MoreIndianThanYouThink

It was my first personal encounter with any foreigner. Now it’s been more than 12 years & I could see our culture, our ideology has made its presence felt everywhere. 

No matter what how much spicy we eat, it’s our sweetness that makes outsiders stay in our heart. No matter how much diverse we are in our culture or nature, it’s our unity that makes people wonder. 

It’s not just crackers in Diwali or colors in Holi, it’s the way we celebrate with our family and friends. It’s not just hip-hop or salsa but people still want to shake their leg on Bollywood thumka

Indians don’t count calories or cash when it comes to Indian weddings. For us, it’s another huge celebration where families of the family gather. Indian wedding is another season that we have & boast of. 

I have found even having a food is a fiesta for us as Kerala’s Masala dosa getting served on the plate while butter on hot stuffed parathas melts. If food is very appetizing for people, then the six-yard cloth is fascinating for foreign women. 

My personal encounter with Katrina made me realize that she wanted to absorb as much Indianness as she could do while she was here. She tried to learn and explore the tiniest detail of Indian thing, culture, its people and more. 

Today, India has marked its global presence with its colorful culture, warm hospitality, genuineness & diversity where people keep coming back. They behave as if they are #MoreIndianThanYouThink.
While in the air, they are #MoreIndianThanYouThink
It’s a very nice gesture to know that while in the air or on the ground, people outside of our country want to be #MoreIndianThanYouThink in many ways.
Katrina could not visit India again but she had that indelible impression about India that she always carried. 

Certainly, we are, they are #MoreIndianThanYouThink!

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