“Where do you belong to?” A girl of about my age asked me on my flight to Mumbai. “Rajasthan” I swiftly replied. “Oh!” she said with excitement in her voice “Royal Rajasthan. Isn’t it?”. “Yeah” I mumbled. Then what followed was a conversation about Rajasthani cuisines, outfit and places of interests. This is how it dawned on me that how geographical coordinates can change people’s attitude towards you.
I come from a Military background. I was born in Allahabad. I had the pleasure of eating Gol gappas and Mughlai food in Delhi, enjoyed shopping at Bangalore, endured the climate of Ooty, and relished the mouth watering Gujarati delicacies. Stayed in different parts of the country, adapted their cultures and actively took part in all the festivals and cultural activities let it be the Navaratra in Gujarat or the Durga Puja in Kolkata. Learnt to speak different languages from Guajarati to Punjabi. I can talk with a tamilian hours about Tamil culture and can dance to the tune of bhangra. My house includes a wide range of handicrafts like any defense personnel’s; the collection includes hay statues from Orissa to silver ornaments from Gujarat. Then why is my cultural background only limited to Rajasthan?
When I think about my childhood, what I see looks like a collage with pictures of different states and cultures. I have immense pleasure in telling people about my colorful childhood. I can go on and on for hours. So why do I have to limit myself to a particular state. You have to admit, when a person from some other country asks about your heritage, your held lifts high, chest expands, and with a 3 inch wide grin you reply ‘INDIA’. Isn’t that feeling wonderful? People should acknowledge and understand the fact that there is something beyond boundaries.
So next time, if someone asks me about my heritage or state. I am simply going to reply India. Because I do not want to miss the pleasure of discussing about the Indian culture rather than a particular state.