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November 7, 2011 / Vandita

Indian Heartbeats: Road to Happiness

To be or not to be quintessentially Indian ought not to be at stake. Metropolis culture with its uniform roads, disciplined traffic and mind numbing coda takes a stunning catwalk that leaves me high and dry. I can actually see the wholesome kitchen grate dousing its fire because the missionary megalopolis says so! Sometimes when in our typical village courtyard, at the onset of winters I sleep cocooned under oversized thick quilts I dream of the British police batons swinging o’er my head. I’m the quintessential Indian squirming when the screw is tightened with a veracity that only the Europeans are heir to. I’m from the metropolis hinterland where noise is a way of life, traffic-signals a poetry to unravel, and life a good hearted journey in brazenness.
Spare the rod and let be. We are Indians. Our roads have music – a language that makes zero sense to the jaded. It’s heartening that India’s organized chaos rippled through the Formula One racers. Some of us who’ve never been integral to the metro culture would like to encourage the highest bureaucratic and government echelons, and their confidants, to study how Indian cities and Indian villages have the time of their lives despite snarls and consistent honking of horns in crowded and not so crowded areas.
It is time the world shifted to a multipolar management so that life on and off the road becomes a delightful journey, where the police is typically small town types – indulgent like a parent who lets the child be. Not batons but warm smiles will assuage the ills that plague our metropolis. Can the judiciary say cheese? Could the government laugh a bit? And, on a wishful note, could professors be less militant? After all we don’t want cultural snarls. The roads are jammed, let colleges be happy places. I have just one regret, I never studied in my village where laughter is infectious and the teacher a strict indulgent mentor: everyone emerges a winner with an incorrigible sense of humour.

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