“Think like an Indian” is the commandment from a coach to his team in the latest TVC of Lufthansa.
But, thinking like an Indian, is that easy? Of course not! The Indian mind is as complex as India itself. Within its labyrinthine network of neurons and dendrites, reside emotions and thoughts conditioned by thousands of years of culture and history.
So anyone trying to decipher the complexities of Indian thought may be forgiven if they give up saying, “dil me aata hai samajh me nahi”!
The cornerstones of Indian thought has always been ARTI which stands for Adaptability, Resilience, Tolerance, and Innovation. When the whole world slept, India awoke to its tryst with destiny and has kept it owing to its resilience. Despite a painful birth, the country has faced a baptism by fire to emerge with flying tricolours. The country adapted to the changing global economic scenario to emerge as an IT superpower, thanks to its adaptability and the “jugaad” mindset, which has a solution even before the problem emerges!
Being a globetrotter and also having traveled every nook and corner of India, I have seen India and Indians from every possible perspective and angle and have come to the conclusion that one word needs to be changed in the Oxford Dictionary, and that is the word UNIQUE, it needs to be replaced by INDIA!
Being the Indian that I am, my Indianness is obviously imprinted on my DNA and all my thoughts, emotions and actions have been dictated by this right from the time I was born.
I remember vaguely walking to the Gateway of India in Mumbai as a kid of 2 years, proudly showing off my newly learned walking skills. My left hand firmly locked in the warm clasp of my father’s hand.
It all happened very suddenly, my tender mind not able to comprehend the sequence of events. A surge in the crowd. My sweaty hand slowly loosening from the grasp of my father’s hand. The figures of my father and mother slowly fading away in the distance. I could only see the legs of men and women all around!
Suddenly, I had lost touch of the familiar and had been pushed into what seemed to my tender mind an alien and unfamiliar environment.
I was lost, though I did not know the term or the meaning then. What I did realize was that my parents were not with me, and I did not know what to do. I had an option of crying, shouting out loud, but that would have been futile given the crowds and the noise that rent the air. I could walk towards where they would have gone and find them, but I did not know where they/we were going!
My little Indian brain cooly and calmly weighed the options before me. I had two choices, one to go in search of them, the second to stay put where I was.
I chose the second option for I reasoned(At that time I did not know that this was a decision tree of a flowchart, the same kind of logic has made India a Software powerhouse) that my parents would definitely miss my presence at some point and come in search for me. The logical place for them to start the search would be from the point that they lost me. My calculations proved right. My parents came back and found me and were amazed at my thinking process and talk about it even today. But I just smiled at them and thought, its all in the DNA! I am more Indian than you think!
The Indianness and Indian thought has ensured that I fight challenges and come out with blazing colours, I smile in the face of adversity. The philosophy of the Bhagvad Gita, which is so close to the Indian psyche irrespective of religion, which urges one to continue doing their Karma without being bogged down by thinking too much about the results stands me in good stead.
However westernized we may try and want to be we all are more Indian than we think.
Life begins with the morning cup of Indian Masala Chai, savoured along with the morning news from, “The Times Of India”. Yoga and Surya Namaskar set the tone for the day and after a hearty breakfast of Idlis or Parathas off you go to work on, “Hamara Bajaj”, which you kick start after tilting it slightly towards yourself. At work, you toil hard and return back home to cheer the Indian team playing for the cricket world cup. On weekends it is time to catch the latest Bollywood blockbusters starring one of the Khans. So life goes on and has for thousands of years.
In between we Indians find time to invent the Zero and the Decimal system, plastic surgery, Ruler, Shampoo and many other things which are taken for granted today. Find that plants have life. Launch a satellite to Mars on an astoundingly lean budget. Get demonetised and monetized again.
This can happen only in India! We are more Indian than you think! #MoreIndianThanYouThink
So are you up to the challenge? Think like an Indian! More Indian!