Friday, 27 May 2011

What the hell are we fighting for?

Of all kinds of writing I do, travelogues are something that I have always enjoyed. I love sharing those small but memorable incidents happened on the journey. I believe they always stay with you, more than the place itself.

One such incident happened while I was on the train from Mumbai to Gorakhpur (my home town). I was traveling with my husband, my sister and sister's husband. There was a couple in our compartment with their two kids. With their language and dialect they pretty much looked North Indians. More than the husband, the wife looked from north because of her sing-song tone. After a while we noticed her speaking in Marathi with her kids. The obvious guess was that she must've picked up the language in all these years she stayed in Mumbai.

After a lot of guessing and assumptions we finally decided to ask her whether she was a Maharashtriyan or a North Indian. Her reply came to us as a surprise. She was a Marathi and had picked up the accent from her husband who was a North Indian. Trust me, her accent, dialect whatever you call it was way better than any UPite or Bihari and the husband had a very Mumbaiya tone.

The whole incident made me think. Does a common man really care about people migrating from one city to other for work? Does aam junta appreciate the mas pooja conducted by Laloo Yadav or beatings of North Indians by MNS? I guess not. This is a country that unites for a Marathi cricketer who plays under a Bihari captain. So I think that the politicians should leave the language and let it be just a tool to communicate.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

My best friend's big fat Indian wedding

A trip to Rajasthan always feels like going home (I studied there for 3 years). So when my best friend invited me to her wedding in Jaipur the excitement was natural. Being a Rajput her marriage was expected to be colorful and culturally rich. But what I witnessed was beyond my expectations. It was a real BIG FAT Indian wedding.

Rajasthan has a very colorful culture, probably its their way to make up for the dry weather and barren desert. I have always been in love with the dress they wear, the food they eat, their songs and dance. The best part is that its not just the older generation that follows the traditions. The modern and younger ones too take pride in their culture. It was a treat to watch the young and the old ones dressed up in their traditional Poshak and dancing the very famous Ghumar (I tried a couple of steps myself). The surprise package was the male members of the family performing the same dance.

The wedding, held in the Royal Castle Kanota Hotel was as magnificent as it could get. The hotel had royal rooms with ancient furniture, painted walls and large bathrooms. The decorations added to the beauty. We were taken to the ancient days of Ranas when the groom arrived on an elephant and the bride hit him with rice ball hidden behind her friends.

The whole experience made me realize how far we are from these pleasures. Living in Bombay has made us dry. Even our weddings are planned in a way that we don't have to take an extra leave from work. The fun of singing, dancing, chatting till late night has disappeared. We make queues even while wishing the newly weds or eating. All we want to do is to get over with the function and rush home.

I wish we had more time to celebrate each others' lives.


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