Skip to main content

Guest Post - Over to Akanksha

For the first time, I'm having a guest post on 'gaelikaa's diary'.  Akanksha is a young friend of mine, a university student in the city of Patna in north India.  She is studying commerce.  She has a lot she wants to say, but doesn't quite feel ready to commit herself to regular blogging just yet.  So I've offered her some space on my blog to write.  I would love if some of my regular readers could read her post and be sure to leave a comment for her too.



Recently I joined Facebook and they asked me about my home town and I didn't know what to write. A very simple question but I had no answer.   Let me tell you why.

I am an Indian girl aged 19,studying commerce at  graduate level and I aspire to work in the corporate sector.
I live in Patna, which is the capital of Bihar.   I was born in Jammu, which is the capital of the state Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).  My parents had a love marriage and I am their only child.  My mother hails from Punjab, and my father from Uttar Pradesh (both two different states).

Now if you are not an Indian you would never know what  big cultural, geographical extremes are these places.  Let me a give you a little insight into these places geographically and culturally. 

Patna (BIHAR) where I am living since 1997, is a plane area ,not at all industrially developed but with good schools,so the people here are very intelligent... even cunning at times, hardworking, and absolute DESI (country people). The kids here crack most of the competitive exams,like engineering,medical, and the toughest of all.. civil services. But Bihar does not have a very good political reputation throughout the country. It is still under-developed in comparison to other cities of our country. 

Well I like Patna, but most of it is rural - not all, the place where I live is pretty urban but yeah we don't have malls and all.   I have my friends who are nice and well brought up, but the major crowd still needs to groom themselves a lot. But Patna will always be special to me, I spent my whole childhood here, and had the best time of my life till now here. But I still cannot call it my home town.

Jammu(J&K), where I was born  is approximately 1500km away from Patna. It is in the northern side of the country.  It is a hilly area, not exactly a hill station, but yes it is surrounded by hills. The people here have a fair complexion. The major population here consists of Muslims and a local crowd called Kashmiri pundits (the priest class of this state). Nehruji also belonged to this state. The local languages are Dogri and Kashmiri, and I don't understand a word of them.  Though it is my birth place, still I cannot buy property there. Even if I have lived my entire life there still I can't buy a piece of land in this state legally because there is a special law that a person having some paternal or maternal roots can only buy land in this state and my parents don't have any, and again its politically disturbed area and in dispute with our neighbouring country. 

I love Jammu, the place and the people, but I cannot call it my home town.

Punjab- It is near J&K. Its a plane area. It is the agricultural state of my country. The people here are very impulsive, helpful, funny, street-smart, bold and loud. My mum was born in Amritsar, though I have rarely been there as my grandparents are not alive and my mum's brothers and sisters live in different cities. We visit them often. I like Punjab and am very proud to have my roots here. But well, I dunno the language of this place very well (Punjabi)and also I am far from being loud though I am impulsive, but I take that as a bad attitude.

Kanpur (UP)- is technically home town though I have hardly been her., My dad hails from a village near Kanpur. Most of his family is still there but I hardly see them. I am not a snob but the village lacks many facilities without which a city child like me can't really live. My dad 's two elder brothers (my tayaji, and chacha ji) live in Lucknow and Delhi respectively. I have been to Lucknow many times. It is one of the favourite cities I have ever visited but I am not sure if I can call either of them my home town. I like the culture of U.P it is near Bihar, the language here is Hindi ,so no language barrier at least, it is my home town paternally. But I know nothing about Kanpur.


I am proud and so lucky to be associated to all these places, I love the food of all these places, a lot.  I am a complex blend of all these cultures. Calling myself Bihari or Kanpuriya, doesn't do justice to who I am... I wish there was a way where in one word I can explain my home.. I think INDIA..can be it!!!


Oops just tried, but facebook did not accept it.
But I wish the world does.



Comments

  1. Hello Akanksha. I live in Australia, so I have been brought up in a completely different culture to yours.

    Here, we say 'home is where the heart is' and my heart is with my family, so where I currently live is the place I call my home town.

    Also, Australians are a very friendly and accepting race of people and we would never define a person by where they came from. It simply doesn't matter! What counts the most is who you are, as a person. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Akanksha,
    I have been in love with India since reading MM Kaye, Far Pavilions. I am sure that novel account does not do your home country justice. You offer insight to the complexities of your country in your essay. Distance, cultural differences between locals, and complications of so many languages. Keep writing, you have much to share. Lisa, Florida, USA

    ReplyDelete
  3. well written...just a lil' advice sis..try and throw light on the lifestyle of the people in the different states..we all know how extreme cultures and races can be in our country and yet we live happily along with each other.rest all pretty decent..love

    ReplyDelete
  4. Nice post, Akansha. I come from a similar background with the added complexity of parents in transferable jobs. So for me a town has always been variable - the place my mom happened to be living in at any given point of time.

    ReplyDelete
  5. @lisa u knw wt dear no author can actually do justice 2 india... me being a hard core indian.. could nt really do justice 2 it.. mayb u shud cme n visit india 2 knw more

    @abhinav thnx bhai 4 reading it... i knw i have nt done much justice 2 these places i mentioned.. next time i wud really describe mre

    thnku all 4 reading it n encouraging me 2 write more!!!:)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hello Akanksha. Thank you for the post, it is always interesting to learn more about India.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Akanksha, I have lived all over India and have also traveled all over including the towns and states that you talk about. I too come from a family that can be called a kichdi and have relatives all over too. Though I have been living in Pune for the past twenty years, I too will be comfortable only with being called an Indian.

    About FB, Gaelikaa expects my visits there once a quarter. I consider even that too much.

    All the best wishes for success in your ambitions.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting me. Please let me know you were here

Popular posts from this blog

Kipling Got it Wrong! Or Eastern and Western Culture - Reflections

What Is Culture?
I’m opening this blog post with a question. What is that elusive concept which is commonly known as ‘culture? Culture is way of life. How we live. What our values are.  Our customs, attitudes and perceptions. And also, I suppose, how we express ourselves in art through, such as music, dance, theatre and cinema.  It’s quite a comprehensive area and not too easy to define, really.



The Journey
I was born in what is commonly known as ‘the west’. I lived in Ireland for the first thirty years of my life. When I was thirty, I married my husband and came out to India to live here with him. That was the beginning of an interesting journey, which is still evolving. I must have had some east/west comparison stereotypes in my head. But in India, I found that the people I met had huge stereotypes in their heads about what they called ‘western culture’ and ‘western way of life’. Not long after I arrived in India, I was struck by the number of people who said things to me like ‘in the …

The Climate in my Hometown LBC Post

I am originally from Dublin in the Republic of Ireland. We have a maritime climate, neither too hot nor too cold. Cool, wet winters and warm summers.  We get the odd freak weather condition, like several feet of snow, once in a while to make life interesting.  Pretty ideal really.  

Now I reside in Lucknow in north India. In the Indo-Gangetic plain.  Cold dry winters, roasting hot summers and a humid rainy season.  It seems like it's always too hot or too cold. Or too humid. Humidity is something I dread.  It brings itching, rashes and all of that.  Okay, too hot will work for me. So will too cold (although I hate dry cold, that's energy-sapping). But humidity is .......not at all good. And that's a euphemism if ever there was one,. 

I wish to dedicate this post to my beloved and erudite rakhi brother Rummuser, who suggested this topic.

And thanks to freedigitalphotos.net for the above illustration, 'Paper Weather Icon Illustration' by SweetCrisis.

The Loose Blogging C…

Impatience

Many years ago, when I lived in Dublin, I met someone nice and started dating. I wasn't serious, I just thought we could have nice interesting discussions about India, which I found absolutely fascinating, as I was working in the Embassy of India back then. I had no intention of getting attached with a foreigner, with all the attendant cultural problems. I was happy living in Ireland and the idea of marriage couldn't have been further from my mind.

We both thought we could just keep things in control. One day, after a lot of emotional turmoil and denial, it hit us both that we were in love. Truly. Madly. Irrevocably. To the point where we couldn't live without each other. I'd known about the Indian system of arranged marriages and when it occurred to me that he would probably be married off by his family as soon as he returned to India, I felt physically ill at the thought. We are both tenacious and patient people. We realised that bringing our two worlds together would…