Yeh jo desh hai tera (This country that is yours)

Before leaving India, I didn’t quite comprehend the meaning of this famous song from the movie Swades, where the protagonist is a scientist at NASA working on the Global Precipitation Mission.

This particular song paraphrases all the arguments that run through my head now and then, especially when the going gets tough.

Argument 1:

Life is telling you, you have achieved everything,
Now what’s left?
Looks like happiness has been showered on you
But you’re far from your home
Now come back oh crazy one
Where at least someone will call you their own
And will call out to you

I have an amazing memory foam mattress, the ambient temperature is perfectly set around 20-24 deg C. There is no dust, there are no mosquitoes, and everything is clean, neat and orderly. I can’t be happier. Yes, it seems life has showered everything on me in this wonderful country – security, peace, happiness. But as the song reminds, I am far from home. All the people who care about me, are back home. I just live in a highly comfortable house; it is not home without there at least being someone who will call me their own. That is only at home. For this I have to go back, I am the crazy one! I eat whatever I want here, sometimes it tastes better than what I have eaten in India, but what is food, if it is not cooked without motherly affection? Even if it is plain porridge and cabbage, if my mom is feeding me, what else do I need? That love is the real taste in the food!

Argument 2: (This comes in a dialogue between the protagonist and his counsel in between the song)

Leave emotion. Tell me what you will do after going back. Don’t be a hopeless romantic. You don’t know anything yet to go back and make any difference. It is just your mind’s method of coping up with work stress and home sickness that makes you think so.

Now I totally understand why NRIs (Non Resident Indians) love this song. I had moist eyes listening to this song.

Seemingly rational brain vs seemingly emotional brain – who wins? Only time will tell.

Of treats

The biggest “cultural difference” I find between India and the United States of America is in the way achievements, and birthdays are celebrated by friends. In India, if one gets a job, an internship, or if it is one’s birthday, then friends expect the person to treat them by buying them food in a nice expensive restaurant. On the other hand, in the United States, the birthday boy/girl gets a treat from his/her friends on their birthday! Isn’t that cool?