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The Cultural Guacamole - India

I can get angry easily. Doesn't take much. But more often than not, it is controlled, leads to a healthy argument or stubbornness, leading most definitely to an adrenaline rush for me, and an interesting phase of human observation for others.

A few things that piss me off, are a completely different story. One of them is how we Indians are all gaga over our expeditions abroad, and care trifle about the diversity that India has to offer, mostly. We call into the equation, of places across Europe, of what historical spread they have to offer, along with powerful natural beauty. We call into the equation, of the Developed Countries like America, of what modernization and skyscrapers they offer, alongside their standard of living. We call into the equation, of the horrid state of affairs in the countries that are unstable politically. We call into the equation, of Africa, of what ethnic diversity it offers, and add to that, the diversity of its flora and fauna. We also call into the equation, of the Middle East, the bridge that it acts between the West and the East, and Dubai specifically being the Sheikh among them.

Granted, there are things that each of these places offer, and perhaps do better than what India does, case by case. Also granted, is the vice versa. The argument being, all you need to do is, find those cool glasses lying around, put an India filter on, like with those Augmented Reality lenses or perhaps Google Glass, and just do a 360 spin with eyes wide open. It'll give you a point by point comparison for everything above and more. I'll just dish out one of mine though, for argument's sake.

Pop up, the west meet east, Dubai & Middle East, and pops in, a curious little town, Hampi, Karnataka. I am not calling at the whole nine yards of what Dubai offers in comparison here, but the immensity of what a mere 15 kms of radius of this ancient Vijayanagara Empire offers in comparison. On one side, we have the man made confluence of world, executed in the grandeur of which any Sheikh would be proud of. On the other side is the humble ruins, and the natural richness that is on offer, both sides of the Tungabhadra River. The glamour of the western culture flourishing north of the river, with the harmony of the eastern and Indian heavy culture flourishing on the southern banks, it almost offers you that perfect Yin & Yang spot, you were always searching for in your life.

Go cliff diving in one of the many reservoirs around, Canadian style, or marvel at the biggest Narsimha Idol. Go gorging on the German Bakery, or try the famous Goan Cuisine. Go camping, Grand Canyon style, or go for a bath in the river. Go feel the heat radiating from the stones in summers, or go for the coolness that is on offer at night. Go experience the Premier League with your newly made British acquaintances, or go live the life of crossing the river with a rented bike on a (what can be only called) makeshift Barge motorboat with livestock. Converse about everything from Mythology to Globalization, in the language of your choice. Dress up in the stupid bermuda that you have got, and still feel like blending in.

It is, a marvel on its own, and what I only ask for, from all of us, is, speak and live with the same reverence of your own heritage, and enjoy the whole world. Here, India, and Outside.

P.S. A very happy new year to all :)

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