At the stroke of the midnight hour, on the 15th of August, 1947, when the world slept, a nation called India awoke to freedom.
A nation was born! A nation that was unique in its diversity but bound by the threads of a common culture coursing through the veins of its people. A country that is now revered as Mother India.
That nation was INDIA, a country whose riches and culture had drawn people from all corners of the world like a magnet and had turned itself into a melting pot of diverse religions, cultures and ethnicity.
India is a country which is home to nine religions of the world. The people of the country communicate through 22 official languages and 1652 dialects.
This post is dedicated to this wonderful country that I call my home, and is an attempt to present the rich diversity of the country as well as dispel many myths associated with it. 70 years is a very tender age for a nation but the country has made gigantic strides since the day it shook off the shackles that bound its very existence.
India is not a land filled with snakes and snake charmers, we do not ride on elephants to work and India is not all hot and humid.
Incredible India has made rapid strides in technology and science and various other fields, its educational institutions are at par with World standards and even excel them. The IT industry is well known and sets its own benchmarks. Its revenue for the year 2015 was approximately 150 billion USD. The country has over a billion mobile phone users and close to 300 million internet users. Many of the giant global companies are today headed by Indians. These include Microsoft, Pepsico, Google, Mastercard and Adobe.
The Diversity and Variety of India
Stretches and stretches of sand welcome you as you are serenaded by the sweet folk songs of Rajasthan in the west.
As you travel up north into Kashmir or Himachal Pradesh, white blankets of snow greet you with a draught of cold air.
The spirit of the Buddha touches your heart and soul at Bodh Gaya, the place where Buddha achieved enlightenment in the east.
The hallowed mortal remains of St.Francis Xavier await to bless you at Basilica of Bom Jesus, Goa in the west.
The peace and tranquility of the North Eastern states enthrall you with their mesmerizing natural beauty.
The vibrancy and adrenaline pumping pace of the cities like Mumbai, make you fasten your pace.
You stare in awe at the carvings, paintings and sculpture at the Ajanta & Ellora caves and wonder about the artistic skills of the people who made them long, long ago.
The mellifluous notes of the flute emerge from the lips of the flautist Hariprasad Chaurasia and dance to the rhythmic beats from the Tabla of the music maestro Zakir Hussain.
India is a country that today dances to the different and wonderful genres of music which are steeped in great tradition and heritage and the dances themselves are varied and rich as the music.
If you are down south in India one of the dances that will catch your eye is the classy and elegant Bharatanatyam .
And if you head up to the north of India, jive to the vibrant dance steps of the Bhangra dance.
To sum up, this is just a slice of India. Volumes would not suffice to write about the sheer range and variety of the country across all areas, whether it be food, music, dance, culture, climate, geography, etc.. India is like a multi flowered garland with beautiful and exotic flowers all united by a common string.
On the occasion of the 70th Independence day, my heart goes out to all the countless people, known and unknown who have sacrificed their lives for the country. A big salute to the armed forces of the country who relentlessly keep a vigil and protect the nation.
Happy Birthday India!
This article has also been published on Huffington post. Please check here.
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