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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More Indian Than You Think






Apple's advertisment - Think Different

The chimes of bells woke me up with a start in the wee hours of the morning! After the long flight I had slept like a log! I could hear the distant chants clearly! The melodious sounds came through the stillness from the ISKON, Hare Krishna temple located in Brooklyn! It was as if I woke up in Mathura,the birth place of Lord Krishna and not in New York! The previous evening my host had treated me to samosas at a plush Indian restaurant on the 6th Street! I never really felt that I am so far from home! To my surprise the number of people who were non-Indians far exceed at the restaurant and the temple that I visited later in the day! This was my first brush of taste of India on a foreign soil way back in early 1981!

ISKON Temple at Brooklyn- New York

Right from the time Buddha attained enlightenment at the age of 35years around 4 BC, his followers traveled with the message and Buddhism continues to flourish far beyond India, to South East Asia, Sri Lanka, Korea, Japan and many other countries!

Many years later Mahatma Gandhi set his foot on the soil of South Africa to rebel against apartheid. He held the world in awe with his determined nonviolent struggle to liberate India from the British dominance in 1947. ’ The half naked fakir’ as he was referred to by Churchill once, garnered many diverse followers in the different parts of the world ranging from Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Albert Einstein, Barack Obama to Steve Jobs. Martin Luther once said’ Christ gave us goals and Mahatma Gandhi tactics’. Steve Jobs featured Mahatma Gandhi in his ‘Think Different’ series of advertisements for Apple Computers! Barack Obama was once was asked by a student,’ with whom (living or dead) would he like to have dinner with’? He replied’ Gandhi’.

Swami Vivekananda went to attend the Parliament of World’s Religions at Chicago in 1893. After reaching Chicago Vivekananda learned no one could attend the Parliament as delegate without credential or bonafide. When professor Wright of Harvard University learned that Vivekananda was not officially accredited and did not have any credential to join the Parliament, he told Vivekananda– "To ask for your credentials is like asking the sun to state its right to shine in the heavens”
Yoga Training Center at Wolfsburg, Germany
Whether it is food, music, Bollywood movies, Cricket, Information Technology, Yoga and Meditation or making global CEOs or eminent doctors, India has lead on the world stage! If Ravi Shankar and Zubin Mehta, kept the audience spellbound in the concerts world over, Raj Kapoor created a bond with Russians and Amitabh Bachhan and Shah Rukh Khan have become household names ! Every Indian that traveled abroad would have a story to narrate about meeting a foreigner who is a fan of Indian movies and music. Reknowned doctor and advocate of alternative medicine cum 'new age guru', Dr Deepak Chopra have had likes of Elizabeth Taylor as the celebrity patients besides many others. While in Tel Aviv once, I was amazed when the group of Israeli professionals I was working with broke into the song’ Ichak Dana Beechak Dana , dane upper dana’ a famous song of yesteryears , post a dinner party! I later learnt that the theme of this song had been chosen by the
largest Israeli national telecom carrier- Bezeq’ in their advertisement campaign.
Gaggan -A top Indian restaurant in Bangkok
The biggest ambassador of India for the rest of the world is the Indian food that is considered to be among the top five choices besides Chinese, Mexican, Italian and Japanese! There is hardly any place in the world that would not boast of an Indian restaurant that is equally popular with the locals! In most places in the world people begin the day with a sip of tea which may have originated from India being the second largest producer !

As the world moves to the new era of technology, India has made its presence felt by being the only country to have launched the first satellite in Mars orbit in a maiden attempt. Indians like Satya Nadella( CEO- Microsoft), Indra Nooyi( CEO- PepsiCo) and Ajay Banga( CEO- MasterCard) continue to dominate the global corporate world ,while  the Indian beauties like Sushmita Sen, Aishwarya Rai and Priyanka Chopra have become the cynosure of the global fashion world. Bangalore ranks  among the top IT hubs  in the world and caters to the growing appetite of ever increasing software industry for the global companies. In the field of medicine too Indian doctors are in demand across the globe.

The German giant Daimler Chrysler has setup the Mercedes Benz car production facility in India is a testimony of the growing technical prowess. India has truly arrived and the best experience of this was on a recent trip to Wellington in New Zealand when I turned on the FM radio, to be greeted in Hindi, ‘Namaskar, hum aaj  ka bhakti sangeet ab arambh karte hain( translated, Good Morning! We commence our day with the devotional Hindi songs)!

PS: This post is my entry for  'More Indian Than You Think' Contest sponsored by Lufthansa and Indiblogger.(http://bit.ly/MITYTIndiblogger)


20 comments:

  1. Gandhi was such a great person!

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  2. For me, this is a touching post, thank you and all the best!

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    1. Thank you Padmaja for your kind comment!

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  3. Very emotional post. I became nostalgic.

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  4. Agree,food is the most important Indian ambassador.During my first visit to London,I was surprised to get absolute Indian food at Bombay Brasserie.
    Once in Monte Carlo,I was able to locate an Indian restaurant which served Bhartha,Dal,Tandoori chicken in a Thali

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  5. Yes Mr Chowla, Indian food remains popular everywhere:)

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  6. Quirky anecdotes there mapping our rich ancestral history with the present and I can only imagine the delight when the FM station blurts out something in Hindi in a foreign land! Loved reading the stories especially when they are written from a person as widely traveled as you. All the best for the contest, sir :)

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    1. Thanks a lot Arti for your kind comment! I wish I was really widely travelled but then I have been fortunate to see some lovely places!

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  7. Agree… India's heritage is everywhere in the world...

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    1. Thanks a lot Agnes for that lovely comment:)

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  8. Hahaha....see.....you didn't leave your love for food even here...and you are right...there is an Indian restaurant almost everywhere. Yes, India is expanding and Indians are playing a very key role. More power to India and good luck for the contest!

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    1. You know me well and my love for food, Latha, by now :) It is difficult to not mention about food when writing a post on India! Thanks a lot for reading and that nice comment!

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  9. I agree that Indian food is our biggest ambassador all over the world.

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    1. Absolutely, it is a delight to find an Indian restaurant in every part of the world now:)

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  10. Very nicely shared, Rahulji.
    Great to learn of your personal experiences.
    Congrats for a runners-up prize :)

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  11. Thank you Anita for your kind wishes!

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  12. A very wonderful entry. Loved reading it. Echoes the sentiment in every Indian who has travelled abroad. Very nice indeed...

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    1. Welcome to my blog Siddharth! Not enough words to thank you for those words!

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