Thursday, May 29, 2008

Word to the Mother

The more research I do for my children's book about India, the prouder I feel about my country. Largest democracy, oldest continuous civilisation dating back to 10,000 years, thousands of years of religious, cultural, political cohabitation and growth, a ridiculous amount of everyday busy diversity. I barely remembered any of the ancient and medieval history we learned in primary school, although I am pretty much well-versed in the modern history part of it (thanks to our frantic 10th standard board exam mugging). I spent the past decade in foreign lands, oddly disconnected from my identity, so I'm so glad that I got the opportunity through this book to review India as a grown-up. This seemingly simple book ended up being a godsend. Like Che Guevara on his motorcycle trip across the South American continent, like Khushwant Singh researching for his books 'The History of the Sikhs' and 'Delhi: A Novel'. Not only do I suddenly feel connected to my identity, I now feel connected to all these great thinkers, known and unknown, in that timeless dimension where we are all still sharing our thoughts and inspiring one another from across the ages.

Also the more I research, the angrier I get at the chaotic state India has fallen into. This is not what we dreamt of in 1947. But all is not lost - members of the diaspora are trying to change things from within the country and from without. Hail to the Ganrajya. :)

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