A Cuppa Coffee: some scenes from India!

Day Ten : WordPress Writing 101, September 18,, 2015

Over a Cup of Coffee:

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, then I would share with you, some small vignettes of life in colourful India. I would tell you how in this country with 22 official languages but hundreds more spoken in a few thousand dialects, people still live in unity amidst all this diversity. (Do not believe the media that highlights skirmishes and ignores the largely peaceful nation). 🙂

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, then I would tell you what a God-mad country India is, still ! You cannot escape or run away from God here 🙂 One of the most difficult religions to practise here is that of the ATHEIST ! God in India comes in different forms and without form too! If you don’t see Him or Her in a temple, deities decked in elaborate flowers and ornaments, depending on the fervour of their worshippers, or plain and austere stone idols in their timeless dignity, then you might come across infant Jesus held in Mother Mary’s arms at that next street corner. Also, if you still missed Him (I mean God), then the cries of the muzzein from the friendly neighbourhood mosque will summon you to prayers 5 times a day ! Forget all this, if it is noon and you are feeling hungry, just go to the nearby Gurudwara, where the Sikhs pray and you will be served a delicious and wholesome lunch in their free kitchen called the Langar. No questions asked. You are a child of God, period.

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, then I would let you have a glimpse of  a festival. Did you know that in India it is said ‘there are twelve months and thirteen festivals’ ! We have so many and each region celebrates even the common ones in distinct ways. Most have mythological roots, some are related to change of seasons and hence farming like the harvesting of crops, but they all are excuses for fun and frolic! Apart from the rituals of course.

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, I would regale you with tales of the cute and naughty, powerful and friendly ‘elephant-God’, called Ganesha, the favourite of all children, the remover of obstacles and invoked at the beginning of any venture, material or spiritual. In India, these distinctions get blurred 😉

Ganesha, the 'elephant God' with His friends !

Ganesha, the ‘elephant God’ with His friends ! Here He is playing on a flute, and I clicked this just prior to the ‘immersion’ ceremony, when after a three day festival the God goes back to the elements

Were I to be sipping coffee with you, well it has been a long session, I would invite you to visit India, the land of 33 crore gods and goddesses . . . . OK , do not freak out here! These numbers represent the qualities found in the human imagination and these different gods are symbolic representations of the human psyche. India, my friends is a monotheistic land but does not restrict how Divinity should express Itself/Himself/Herself !