A μΣ called I N D I A hahaha 😀
The unsummable, undefinable, unbelievable, immeasurable, uncontainable, unfathomable is my India. This is what courses through my mind whenever I read summation or brief historic stories that tend to capture everything of a particular place at any singular point or period of time. To be fair to the authors of these news capsules, it is possible that some places, some communities, some epochs of history can neatly fit into boxes of definition, time period, region, faith, nationality etc., that it is so convenient to just pick up the appropriate pieces and assign them into the relevant container and label them and total them enmasse, in quantum. This can give you a general idea of things. You get the picture. Can this ever be possible for or with India? Did our history begin by 1947 or have we had one for over 4000 years now. Do we have to have our gods come down to us from the Middle east or do we invent our own. How many architectural marvels will you write about? One chapter each for the thousands of 1500-2000 or even 3000 year old vast ancient temples dotting Tamil Nadu alone that have withstood not only the environmental erosion but also destructive invasions by foreign army. I just visited an acre huge and over 1500 year ancient one raised by the Chola king in the temple town of Chidambaram, 250 km from Chennai. The dancing Shiva’s foot has this big toe that rightly points to center of gravity.
Here is a quick copy-paste job: research of our ancient temples is ongoing spanning decades now.
“Western scientists have proved that at Lord Nataraja ‘s big toe is the Centre Point of World ‘s Magnetic Equator.
Our ancient Tamil Scholar Thirumoolar has proved this Five thousand
years ago! His treatise THIRUMANDIRAM is a wonderful Scientific guide for the whole world.“
“Its called the center of earth,because earth is the only planet to have both magnetic and gravity field. So chidambaram is the place for the starting point or middle point of earth gravity, satellite above chidabaram Temple doesn’t work due to the action of magnetic field on this place.“
(Satellites don’t work when they are right over the Chidambaram temple that led to research).
Well, this is just a sample. One of the million amazements.
How many music genres to encapsulate: from classical and instrumental to commercial filmy and folk. Dance forms. How many points of entry for Chennai alone. We have an Armenian street that had the Armenians living here when on business for centuries who built the cathedral that stands until today. We have the borah muslims and sindhis. I once even met a woman who said she had pashtun origins. Her family moved down south during partition. The ocean called literature and language: my native Thamizh will give any world language a run for what it is worth. Thamizh is the oldest spoken language in the world, older than Latin and may be even Sanskrit who knows, that is now bestowed with the classical status. Having a structured grammar in Tamil in 3 century BCE, in a full court where women poets compose and sing in the king’s presence… and the dam across the river Cauvery the king raised standing tall until today with light touch up here and there… having a maritime past in ancient Indian history…. we were n’t the conquered but we conquered the south east Asia including Malaysia, Ceylon, Burma, Indonesia… Does this ever figure even in Indian history text books? The fine arts of jewelry, dyeing of fabrics and weaving: weaving tradition of India alone is an inexhaustible subject. Thousands and thousands literally of the intricate weaves and handblock prints. Imagine the national, state, district, village diversities. India’s cuisine is the best window to the enigma called India. There is nothing to match it in the entire world and there can be no justice done scooping it all at one go for connoisseurs’ delight. What about our geography. Against the imposing icy peaks are the parched deserts and the tropical western ghats lush and rich after the fertile Gangetic plains. There are the frothing snaking rivers and the forest reserves and a wildlife scene next only to Africa. We feed the world while we feed a billion of ourselves with our wheat and other farm produce. There is no way one can summarize even such things as IRCTC, our railway that ferries not only millions of passengers any day across destinations around the country, but also carry goods to the tune of tonnes and tonnes. The largest network after the Amtrak perhaps. The armed forces. The banking institutions and the IT sector. The pharma and the medical advancement.
Sometimes, I do wish India is less chaotic, better manageable. Even the US is readable! We can have gross estimates about everything there as the history is very new or almost absent. For a continent as huge as America, that really comes as a surprise. When we resided in Malaysia, sometimes we would drive through 3 or 4 or even 5 states in a day, something unthinkable in India. It is there some 25 years back I understood what it is to be the giant landmass called India. I got a cognizance of her sheer size and beauty and also her ethnic diversity and varied nature that I could never get a Malaysian understand what India is like. Because we are not the uniform like aisles and aisles you walk through in a shopping mall: standard and neat and nicely labeled. We are the complex sigma. We just cannot be computed. We are truly into the infinity! Where do we begin and where do we end. At the time of the moguls we also had concurrent history in rest of the peninsula that is a different face of the multi-faceted prism called India. Hinduism also grew in leaps and bounds right under the invasion times because, it is in 7th-8th century CE that Shankara Mutts were established right across India – including the one in Kashmir. Hindu Dharma entered a greatly civilized phase around this time dropping warfare and embracing higher spirituality. I would call this period a Hindu reawakening time. So many many things unfolded in India at this point of time, and the mugals were just under a ten percent. To those from tinier nations with inconsequential population who hardly impact the world matters (who i have met in the gulf countries), I do not even try to explain India, because they can’t and they never will get the full import. Neither can I do the justice because I am not primed for it, for I lack the knowledge and relevant expertise. Also it is not my job. I let them be. I just know I am from this phenomenal place like which there is no other place on earth. India may have gone to the dogs lately but it is still that magic that can intoxicate you totally. Coming from this mammoth democracy gives me a natural confidence. I know this also means a tremendous responsibility: not only for those of us who call India our home, but also for our policy makers in economic, political, scientific, technical, agricultural, cultural and even medical matters. One inevitably sinking truth is that, yes India hugely impacts the world. And I am not talking of mere Yoga our soft power, or the meditation or Ayurveda. I am talking of how our actions may lead to chain reactions, create demands for instance in global markets kickstarting unending production cycles contributing to changes in environment. India to me is ONE HUGE REPONSIBILITY. What we consume, what we research, what we produce, what we share – all this can affect the rest of the world. I guess this is the only summation I can come up with, for my India. INDIA IS ON THE MOVE. Nothing else about my elephantine country is definable. We aren’t a measurable quantum. You cannot size us up and write a theory. We all do our little bit here and there and try to sew up this magnificent carpet called India.