Friday, July 28, 2017

India - I.N.D.I.A . . !

When I share Indian Army pictures, pick up conversation with my army men as the starters, show my support to my Men In Olive-green, I am always asked “Is there anyone from your family who was in army?” Yes, few decades ago, between 1941 – 1961, my paternal grandfather, Late Mr. K.S. Eswariyer, served as Havildar with the Indian Army. He had also shared his experience during the Burma War, his interactions with Netaji Subash Chandra Bose, his serving time at Dehradun and West Bengal and many more. Though, I had interacted with him, very -  very fleetingly during childhood, he had left an imprint of a Pride Army Man. His wife, my granny – Pappupaatti, used to share her terrific experiences in the northern parts of the country, with less or no Hindi knowledge, how she started her family, how granddad served for the nation. With them, the era of patriotism through serving in the army, dimmed out in the family. However, when I grew up, I made up my mind to join the Armed Forces of India, which eventually became an unfulfilled dream owing to my physical fitness.
A) Havildar K.S.Eswaraiyer b) His discharge certificate
c) & d) His Medal of honor
But, thanks to the social networking sites, Indian Army is my family, now. My family is big. I have many brothers who chose to do the supreme sacrifice for the nation. I am called as ‘Mausi’, I have got many sisters and I am loved as their daughter by many brave parents who proudly sent their sons to the war front and received him, wrapped in the Tri – Color flag. Yes, my family is a big one. We are not connected by blood. But by Tiranga Janda - the Tricolor flag. We are not connected by genes. But by the men in olive. I have not met my family. My family has not met me. We might not be of the same lingual clan but we are a team of Indian Folks. If love exists, without meeting, then we are the examples. We are, still, bonded by valour, sealed with bravery and love each other Unconditionally.
Recently, India celebrated its Kargil Vijay Divas. And, I was sharing Team Desh’s write ups about Kargil Heroes. I also lit a lamp, joining the movement to pay homage to my brave martyrs. Lo and behold, message boxes of all my SNS is filled with a question – “You are living in USA and just showing off!” Wow, people!! I tell you, all of you deserve a round of applause! Seriously? Living outside India was not my choice, exactly. However, I have no complaints about it, too except the fact of missing my homeland, kissing my soil and taking pride! 

Non-Resident Indian Citizens would understand the pain of missing the country. It is painful not to see the Indian Flag flying high, on August 15. It is painful to see Indian flag parade with Sunny Leone background music. Despite appreciating the “tolerance” of foreign lands, it is painful to see a different treatment given for the Tiranga Jhanda. When your fellow Indians rebel for unjust things, it is painful to just watch these rebels and gatherings only on TV and not to take part. When your men in Olive Green come home, wrapped in the flag, and you can only watch him in the big screens as just a photograph, it is painful. When you can hear Jana Gana Mana and Vanthe Matharan at home, in a low volume, it is painful. All you would want to do is throw away everything and go back to Mother India and rest in her lap and kiss her soil. But, you cannot, owing to other responsibilities you have! No one, will ever understand this pain unless they live through it.
IMHO, remembering the roots and not lured away by other things, born – living and dying as Indian by heart and by citizenship matters a lot. People can find fault in everything and anything. But, empathizing others’ situations is far more important. Many moved out of India because their life wanted them to. Not everyone made it their happy choice, to move out of India. Not everyone, who moved out of India, hates India or belittles India.

Pain or Pride, it will always be Mother India ! 

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Childhood memories . . .

Dr Raj Kailash Mohan
Memories from childhood are especially remembered when more than one of your family elders keep repeating those incidents for longer time. That is the case for me. My grandmother – Pappu Paatti, who reared us up kept telling about Kailash’s birth. I was 2 years or to be two years precisely, when my mom conceived Kailash. I began talking in at a very early stage. And so, I was sent to school before I was two years completely! Telling the sex of foetus was not a crime in early 1990s. So, after a certain stage of pregnancy, we knew it was a boy. But even before that, I had “ordered” for a “thambipappa Delivery” from my mother and had made up my mind that it was going to be “thambipappa”! I began drafting rules. Thambipappa should call me gaanukka (akka is must!). I would be taking care of him and all those things. Every evening after school, I used to come straight to my mom who would be sitting tired on that red velvet sofa in the hall and would talk to her growing tummy inside which thambipappa was there. The regular conversation was
What next?
Maathhenn Poo (No I won’t!).” and would run away to play. When asked for, I would complain that “thambipappa had been asking me ‘gaanukka gaanukka shall we play’ but I told ‘maathhenn po’”. My granny’s biggest doubt was ‘I ordered a baby boy to play with but why had I not accepted the baby’s call to play with him!’ Well, it is funny, isn’t it?

Maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ to teach me what life is. Maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ to teach me how to cook. Maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ to make me self-dependant. Maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ to fight with. Maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ to push me to greater heights of achievements. Maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ to fulfil my dreams of becoming a doctor. Maybe I needed ‘thambipappa’ to teach me everything but live in his absence. Maybe I needed ‘thambipappa’ to know how love will be. Maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ to show jealousy. Maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ to share my nasty sides. Or, maybe I needed a ‘thambipappa’ and his untimely death to become strong and discharging his duties too, as a son to the family and as a citizen to the country and as a human to the world.