If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India. ~ Romain Rolland (french scholar)
India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border. ~ Hu Shih (Chinese ambassador to the US)
India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only. ~ Mark Twain
So far as I am able to judge, nothing has been left undone, either by man or nature, to make India the most extraordinary country that the sun visits on his rounds. Nothing seems to have been forgotten, nothing overlooked. ~ Mark Twain
India has two million gods, and worships them all. In religion all other countries are paupers; India is the only millionaire. ~ Mark Twain, Following the Equator
India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe's languages: she was the mother of our philosophy; mother, through the Arabs, of much of our mathematics; mother, through the Buddha, of the ideals embodied in Christianity; mother, through the village community, of self-government and democracy. Mother India is in many ways the mother of us all. ~ Will Durant
India will teach us the tolerance and gentleness of mature mind, understanding spirit and a unifying, pacifying love for all human beings. ~ Will Durant
There are some parts of the world that, once visited, get into your heart and won’t go. For me, India is such a place. When I first visited, I was stunned by the richness of the land, by its lush beauty and exotic architecture, by its ability to overload the senses with the pure, concentrated intensity of its colors, smells, tastes, and sounds. It was as if all my life I had been seeing the world in black and white and, when brought face-to-face with India, experienced everything re-rendered in brilliant technicolor. ~ Keith Bellows (photographer and vice president of National Geographic Society)
We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made. ~ Albert Einstein
San Francisco. What is it to be an Indian today? What is meant by Indian-ness ? What is it to be an Indian abroad - in the United States, for instance ? How much of yourself do you give to your American identity – and how much space do you preserve for your Indian-ness ? These are the questions that Indian expatriates should ask themselves today. For we see many of the children of Indians who settled in the US twenty or thirty years ago, merge themselves totally in the American way of life, speak with an American accent, eat Mac Donald, think American… and in the process forget all about their wonderful Indian culture…
What is it in the American way of life, which fascinates so much Indians ? The fast life ? Right: fast is exciting; but Americans live so fast, eating their breakfast in their cars on the way to work, gulping down these huge amounts of meat and French fries at lunch or dinner, always on the move, that not only they often grow immensely fat, but also catch ulcers and get heart attacks by the time they reach sixty five. What else dazzles Indians in the American way of life ? The lights? True, New York is a fascinating city, with its illuminated skyscrapers, its million of pulsating lights, its giant electronic billboards, its fancy bars, that one feels a kind of throbbing vitality entering oneself as one walks the streets by night. But what a waste of energy, when the world is fast losing its sources of energies; and is isn’t this a kind of artificial vitality, that fades away when one wakes-up in the morning, with a hangover and one has to face the reality of life ? What else ? America’s Nature ? No doubt, the United States boasts some wonderful pieces of nature and Americans have shown us what it means to plant trees and live in a green environment: even Washington is densely wooded. But Nature can also be an illusion here: a highway is never very far from the forest, with its thousands of cars pouring out millions of cubic feet of carbon dioxide, which annihilates natures’ bounty, as the Los Angeles smog amply demonstrates. Besides, America is an unending suburban concrete jungle, with its boring repetition of mega stores, parking lots, and KFC’s. And when you have seen a city, you have seen them all. What else ? The “quality” of American life: barbecue parties, beaches, tattoos, fun and frolic? Yes, except that one out of three American couples divorce within three years, one out of four Americans consults a psychiatrist for depression, bulimia, schizophrenia or plain boredom, and American children regularly indulge in shooting other children, just because they are exposed to so much violence…
Is this the legacy you want to bequeath to your children, O Indian brothers and sisters, who are longing so much for the American way of life ? For this great brain drain, this bleeding of India’s heart and lungs, which has been going for so long, does not affect only the ordinary middle and upper class “secular” Indian, but also many good Hindus, who put their children in the best US universities and accept the fact that these children will settle in the American way of life and will probably never go back to India. True, their kids get heftier pay checks in the US , better facilities, they escape the Indian bureaucracy, red tape, corruption, slowness… But what are they going to bequeath to their own children in the long run: insecurity, violence, divorce, depression and above all their offspring, unknowingly, will be afflicted by a loss of identity : they will not know, nor feel anymore in themselves, as their grandparents did, this natural space of Indian-ness, which automatically confers certain qualities. What is that Indian-ness ?
Firstly and foremost: “I accept you; I accept that you may be White or Black, Red or Yellow, Christian, Buddhist, or Muslim”. Not only that, “but I am even ready to go and worship in a church or a mosque, besides my temple.” “I accept that my Gods are avatars, incarnations of the Divine, but so is Jesus Christ, and also Buddha and even Mohamed”. This an extraordinary statement and a marvellous instrument towards world peace, at a time when the two great monotheist religions of the world, Islam and Christianity still say: “there is only one true God in the world – mine- and if you worship any other god, you are an Infidel and a Pagan and it is my right to convert you by any means, or even to kill you”. The 11th September 2001 attacks are nothing but a result of that dangerous theorem. As a result, Indians adapt easily wherever they go, particularly in the West, as they are very open to western culture. Of course, Indians also go to the other extreme: “not only I accept you, but I am going to become exactly like you – no even Whiter than the White: I am going to denigrate my own culture, spit on my religion, belittle my countrymen”. This is why you come across so often in the US in negative articles on India written by Indians – nay by Hindus. The Gujurat massacres were actually a great opportunity for these Hindu haters, such as Pankaj Mishra, to come out full blast and prove to the world that India is a land of Hindu fundamentalists where nobody is safe, particularly the Muslims “who are regularly victims of pogroms”. P.Mishra conveniently forgot to mention that India is an extraordinary country of freedom, where all persecuted religious minorities in the world have found refuge over the centuries, whether the Jews, the Parsis, the Syrian Christians, or today the Tibetans.
What else ? “I have inherited from my ancestors the tools to become a better man, whatever my religion, ethnicity and profession: a better Christian, a better Hindu, a better Muslim, carpenter, or CEO, IT engineer, or sailor”. What are these tools ? Hata-yoga, India’s gift to the world, which has been copied and imitated everywhere (although Time magazine did a story on yoga without mentioning the name “India” once). What else ? Meditation, this extraordinary technique of coming back to one’s Self, of settling the mind and the body, which is today practiced by millions around the world – another bequest of India to humanity. Pranayama, the science of respiration, perfected by Indians for three millenniums. “Does the breath have any religion”, asks Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living movement, which has spread today in 140 countries ?
What first generations Indians in the States should ask themselves today is “How can I repay my debt to India” ? After all not only they got a nearly free education in India which was good enough for them to obtain well paid jobs in the US, but did they not also inherit that certain Indian-ness, which has been a great help to adapt to the American way of life? As for second, or third, or even fourth generations Indian Americans, what they should tell themselves is “”what can I do for my country” ? “In what way can I contribute to this great nation which is India, which is so maligned and sidelined in the United States” ? And the first thing they can do is to counteract the highly unfair and biased press coverage which India gets in America by writing to editors, or challenging the shameful coverage of CNN (which depicts Mr Vajpayee as an old feeble man, but gives hours of live retransmission of the recent Pope’s visit to Canada, when the man, whatever his extraordinary will power, is a walking mummy compared to Mr Vajpayee), or canvassing their elected representatives.
Finally, Because of the probable continuing confrontation between Islam and the United States (Iraq, Palestine, Pakistan etc), even though Mr Bush thinks that the problem is over once he kills the elusive Bin Laden, Hindus in the US are going to come more and more under threat. It will not matter that they speak with a perfect Yankee accent and think of themselves as one hundred percent Americans – they will be seen in the streets as “coloured” Asians and could be mistaken as Afghanis or Saudis and targeted like the unfortunate Sikh after 11th September. The only solution for them would be that they start regrouping themselves under an “Hindu American” banner. Not only it will rekindle in them an ancient beautiful and powerful identity, but also grant them a protection, as it will quickly become known that Hindus in the US are upwardly mobile, western friendly and themselves a target of Muslim fundamentalism. How will it be done? By the force of circumstances, probably, because left to themselves Hindus are too passive and selfish to do anything. Committed Hindus groups should also apply pressure on them, as the LTTE does on expatriate Tamils for funds and lobby.
20th October 2005
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View CA 94043
According to the media reports of October 21st 2005 on Google Earth, one would find that there is a well -defined boundary between India and Pakistan, and Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) is on Pakistan’s side. I really wonder, when has Google got the power and authority to draw boundaries between countries.
Even before this google was in the news for all the wrong reasons. Google Earth made available all those "sensitive", "high-resolution satellite imagery" of "strategically important places" of India (and maybe other countries EXCEPT AMERICA). I am shocked how could such a company like google be so irresponsible. I was further frustrated to know that it 'blanks' out white house, leave about not a single clue of America's military bases.
I understand that Google Earth might be in its Beta Version, and there are chances of Errors. When you can understand the ‘importance’ of blanking out White House, why not apply the same to other countries. This looks like somebody want to play mischief. When Microsoft makes blunders in their software, it bothers only Techies but when Google makes such blunders it affects each and every individual on ‘Earth’.
What is Google upto? Since it is an "American" Company, doesn't it have any kind of responsibility towards other nations? Or is it something else? Such errors on Google’s part may pose serious concerns and issues between nations. We all belong to this earth even before we belong to any nation. Irresponsibility to other nations is simply unarguable blunder. Doesn't google understand the basic rules of life?
Hoping to have a better Google!
Gone are the days
When the school reopened in June,
And we settled in our new desks and benches.
When we queued up in book depot,
And got our new books and notes.
When we wanted two Sundays and no Mondays, yet
managed to line up daily for the morning prayers.
We learnt writing with slates and pencils, and
Progressed To fountain pens and ball pens and then
We began drawing with crayons and evolved to
Colour pencils and finally sketch pens.
We started calculating first with tables and then with
Clarke's tables and advanced to calculators and
When we chased one another in the corridors in
Intervals, and returned to the classrooms
Drenched in sweat.
When we had lunch in classrooms, corridors,
Playgrounds, under the trees and even in cycle sheds.
When all the colors in the world,
Decorated the campus on the Second Saturdays.
When a single P.T. period in the week's Time Table,
Was awaited more eagerly than the monsoons.
When cricket was played with writing pads as bats,
And Neckties and socks rolled into balls.
When few played "kabadi" and "Kho-Kho" in scorching sun,
While others simply played "book cricket" in the
Confines of classroom.
Of fights but no conspiracies,
Of Competitions but seldom jealousy.
When we used to watch Live Cricket telecast,
In the opposite house in Intervals and Lunch breaks.
When few rushed at 3:45 to
"Conquer" window seats in our School bus.
While few others had "Big Fun", "peppermint",
" kulfi", " milk ice !" and "sharbat !" at 4o Clock.
Gone are the days Of Sports Day,
and the annual School Day ,
And the one-month long preparations for them.
Gone are the days Of the stressful Quarterly,
Half Yearly and Annual Exams, And the most enjoyed
holidays after them.
Of tenth and twelfth standards, when we
Spent almost the whole year writing revision tests.
We learnt, we enjoyed, we played, we won, we lost,
We laughed, we cried, we fought, we thought.
With so much fun in them, so many friends,
So much experience , all this and more.
Gone are the days when we used to talk for hours with our friends.
Now we don't have time to say a HI.
Gone are the days when we played games on the road.
Now we code on the road with laptop.
Gone are the days when we saw stars shining at night.
Now we see stars when our code doesn't work.
Gone are the days when we sat to chat with friends on grounds.
Now we chat in chat rooms.....
Gone are the days where we studied just to pass.
Now we study to save our job
Gone are the days where we had no money in our pockets and fun filled
on our hearts
Now we have the atm as well as credit card but with an empty heart
Gone are the days where we shouted on the road.
Now we dont shout even at home
Gone are the days where we got lectures from all.
Now we give lectures to all
Gone are the days
But not the memories, which will be
Lingering in our hearts for ever and ever and
Ever and ever and Ever .....