The last blog of the year is about nostalgia. It stems from my growing old blog, my trip to India and honestly, it is a culmination of the underlying theme in the COVID years.
The India I grew up in is no longer there. And I cannot alter the reality as it is how much I want it. Like any other country, India has its share of pluses and negatives. But, you have to admit there is something spiritual in India. Indians recognize enlightened beings like Buddha, Ramana Maharishi, Nisargadatta Maharaj and many others. Anybody who has dipped a toe on that journey has to connect with India.
We never had malls growing up, so it was these tiny shops where your mom would embarrass you with her negotiation skills. If the shopkeeper said Rs.1000, my mom would say Rs 10. There were not so many cars on the road – I always used to be outside playing as a kid. Eating out was a once-a-year affair for middle-class families, and now it is weekly. Street good was relatively healthy compared to what the streets are like today. There were more farmlands than buildings. Construction was minimal.
India and Indians have so many nuances that you have to be one to know one. I am not talking about the head nod (eye roll) but many other things like – ‘Oye’, ‘Machhi’, ‘Bas Kya’, ‘Timepass’. And all the rituals and superstitions we have. All the contradictions we have – Check out my blog on contradictions.
Back to the point – I noticed three things that I had not seen on a vast scale. First is the sudden spurt of fertility clinics – I mean, we are the most populated country in the world. Second, increase in the number of obese people – we still have the super thin too, but there is a part of the overweight population, including kids. Thirdly, divorces – even a decade ago, it was uncommon, but now everybody knows somebody who has had a divorce.
I am sure many other items have emerged since I resided in India. These changes make me think we are going where the west is running away from – Fast food, Fast relationships… Maybe all countries, even the tribal groups, have to change like how we have to transcend our egos. But I find it sad and disappointing – the culture, food, rituals I looked down upon while I was growing up are the ones I am hungry for now because I know their worth, meaning. I was talking to my friend about it – how if we can even pass down a tenth of our mom’s knowledge, it is something. And what our mom’s know is already less than what our grandmom’s know. Fortunately or unfortunately, Ignorance is bliss this time as you cannot miss what you don’t know. I have experienced my grandmom’s heritage and my mom’s heritage. And what I have right now looks pitiful compared to theirs.
Before this blog turns into a ‘poor me’ version – let me try to sum it up. I am not trying to point out how great Indian culture is and deteriorating. This blog is me trying to make sense of what I am missing and gaining because of the life I chose. This is an exercise to help me uncover my reality as it is not as I want it to be. This is a bookmark for me to look back on as a memory. (Here is a blog on why I am misfit everywhere)
What does this blog make you nostalgic about?