Sunday, December 13, 2009

India - karma or obsession

This post is dedicated first of all to my friends from Twitter who stubbornly use to ask me what is my connection with their country. On the other hand I think time has come to actually answer myself if this is a karmic thing, or simply an obsession built up in time due to various elements.
Well, I guess everything started in childhood. I had the privilege to be literally brought up in the cinema hall, as my parents worked their entire life in a cinema. As I have confessed to many so far, my oldest memory is from a movie - a cut head rolling down a hill and the beheaded body covered by a purple cape. Well, in former Eastern European countries, movies coming from India represented a steady and most beloved presence (and who claims otherwise is a pathetic liar). So, my first contact with the Hindustani land occurred in the magic shelter of the cinema hall. Movies like Aradhana (Vandana in Romanian), Haathi mere Saathi (My friends, the Elephants), Awaara (The Vagabond), Shree 420 (Article 420), Ek Phool Do Mali (A flower and two gardeners), Yaadon Ki Baaraat (The chain of memories), Raj Kapoor, Mr. Amitabh, Kabir Bedi (in Sandokan Series) simply helped the Romanians to evade from their gloomy world and dream of a land that seemed to be like a fairy tale.
In time, when books became another source of getting knowledge for me, I discovered Eliade and his wonderful love story - Maitreyi or La Nuit Bengali.The book describes the relationship between the author and the young Indian Maitreyi Devi (a protegée of Tagore), who became a famous writer herself. For many years, Maitreyi Devi was not aware that the story had been published. After reading it, she wrote her own version of the relationship in 1974 - Na Hanyate (It Does Not Die - in English).In fulfillment of a promise Eliade made to Maitreyi that his novel would not be published in English during their lifetimes an English translation, of Mayitreyi, Bengal Nights did not appear until 1993.
Well these two books had a great impact on me on a superior level and made me discover more about India and in the process I went through all the already known clichéd stages (yoga, gurus, high spirituality, Mother Teresa, Gandhiji etc. - must admit crazy times were these and kind of weird). But my quest was not on the right track and for many years India simply lingered somewhere in a corner of my mind until some time around 2000, when all of a sudden India started to be in the news.
At that time my personal profile registered a huge change - from the book addicted philologist and an "elite intellectual" I had turned into a new to be economist and my mind had become more opened to the mechanisms that hide behind different societies. Little by little, my image about India absorbed different aspects, like history, social rules, governmental rules, development trends, you name it.
Caught in the hectic world of professional career, gasping desperately for time, once again I grabbed what was at hand to ease up my information hunger. Bollywood (oh, boy, and I have seen quite a huge number of glossy and unrealistic Bolly flicks) and Internet (youtube made history from this point of view). Year after year I watched in awe and with increased interest the changes India went through.
Well, last year something bizarre happened (unfortunately it cannot be shared) and all of a sudden things (big or small) related to India were coming my way on a regular basis (like receiving a sari from someone who most probably wanted to get rid of it and had no clue about my interest in India). Things that can be explained only if karmic or obsessive.
Once I wrote my first tweet the craziness exploded. The easiness I connect with people from India (though we come from complete different cultures, with complete different values) goes beyond the normal, kind social media rules. Twitter also had a great deal with my decision to relocate and leave my country, just because somehow I believe on a long shot my destiny and fulfillment is in India.
My closest friends from home are quite appalled by the idea and they hope it is just another whim of mine. I fear and hope it is not.


val said...

:( y feel sorry for you . india is shet and indian as well .

Thais said...

Well, if u are an Indian, I am the one to feel sorry for you. But if you are not an Indian, then maybe its better not make any assumptions. In any of the cases, its ur opinion and I respect it.

Desi said...

Its like "The Secret". more we think about it(Want it), closer it gets lol!
Would love to read your thought on Sita Sings the Blue.

Horus said...

have u ever thot, tht beyond all we do, beyond all we believe, beyond all that the ancient books say - there can be a un-explainable yet undeniable connection that exists between 2 or more ppl and with ppl and places? beyond all the three dimensions, beyond reality of our living world..

Think - u might discover a few more truths..

Thais said...

For Desi. I havent seen yet Sita Sings the Blue, but I made a notice and when I do I will write abt it. :)
For Horus.... :) That bizarre thing mentioned in my post has everything to do with what you are saying. :)

lost_scotoma said...

I don't know what to say but this is overwhelming... I guess its more of karmic than obsessive (if it gives you some perspective!!)... I wish Indians loved and learned India as much as you do and are trying to do.... keep writing.. best of all.

Thais said...

For @lost_scotoma. I consider Indians do love their country, but sometimes they take things for granted and forget to be grateful for such a magic place they live in. :)

lost_scotoma said...

Hope so!.. but trust me, its dismal.. give them a chance to fly and they'll land nowhere but USA singing and hoisting "The Star-Spangled Banner"... forgive me for being a cynic!

Nothingman said...

M, this is very cool. Few take the initiative to pursue their interest in a different culture but your passion shines in your words. Carry on with all you do and keep the passion alive!

Love and best wishes! :)


Thais said...

To my extraordinary @fubar69
Coming from you, such words cannot but strengthen me to follow this quest. Singing "We shall overcome..." :D

RAHUL said...

I always wondered about your strange connection to India..
And,this post answered my question.
Never have I come across someone from any other country with so much liking or interest towards India.

This is so cool!
And so are you!!

Good Luck with everything


Thais said...

Thanks my dear R... :)

kaveri g said...

Wow! Amazing story this! We will be so happy to welcome you to 'our' country. India can drive you mad but its home & very deeply loved. Hope your vision of India lives up to it in reality. (((HUGS))))

kaveri g said...

Wow! Amazing story this! We will be so happy to welcome you to 'our' country. India can drive you mad but its home & very deeply loved. Hope your vision of India lives up to it in reality. (((HUGS))))

Thais said...

@ikaveri Thank you very much for your warm words, my dear friend. I dont think in terms of expectations (you know...good, bad), but rather in terms of recognition. I want to believe that when I am there I shall say...finally, I'm home. :P :P (Freaking gayish, I know) :D

sitaraman suresh kumar said...

Thanks for the letter and your interest for learning Hindi and India. Sorry for the old sari case.

I have travelled to CIS MOSCOW,ARMENIA,AZERBAIJAN,TURKMENISTAN IN 1992 JUST FOR 4 months(Russians love Indians) and South Africa for 2 years on emergency programmes. I found several Indian students studying MBBS course in Russia and met with several Indians In Johanessburg and Durban. India is a great and safe country. Every country has its own problems. After day night comes and then and night day comes. Rays of hope keeps us alive.

I am delighted to read the contents of this blog. Keep writing.

India is a huge country with so many provinces, languages,dialects.
It has given to world great scholars, pandits, scientists, nurses, Doctors/Hospitals, mathematicians, astrologers, Aurveda specialists, musicians, actors/actress. Indian dances, movies, music, food etc. are liked all over the world.
I have travelled extensively in India and stayed over 50 years and above are my personal opinion.

I am proud to be an Indian.

tks. (Dhanyawad,nundry, spashiba)

An online Hindi tutor and translator from Chennai,India.
91 9840643690

Thais said...

Thank you for dropping by and share your thoughts with me. :)

nishim said...

Are you still in India? Which part of the country and what are you doing there is you don't mind my asking.

Thais said...

@nishim What makes you think I am in India? I have never been there. Yet. :)

Adee said...

now we know :)

said like a true Indian, "either there is something wrong with me (obsessiveness) OR it is my karma (still can's do anything about it) :D