When my Ma fell ill in the middle of the night several years ago, it was my Sikh neighbor who brought out his Taxi and helped us to the hospital. No, he didn't charge us a single Rupee.
When I flew overseas for the first time, I had a senior with me from Bihar. We goofed up in the foreign land together, helped each other and discovered things together. We even sang at a party together.
When I started my career in Bangladesh, I became friends with some of them. I even have an adopted sister and brother there.
When I shifted to Delhi, I made a few friends who formed my support group and still remain close friends. They happen to be Rajasthani, Malayali, UPite, Himachali, Uttarakhandi, Tamil, Maharashtrian, Punjabi etc.
When I was in Bangalore, my office friends were Tamil, Chattisgarhi, Malayali, Hyderabadi, Kannadiga, Kashmiri, etc.
When I traveled to Sikkim and Munnar, my friends from Karnataka were there to share those moments with me.
When I got lost in Thadiyendamol, a friend from Maharashtra and a Punjabi friend from UP were also lost with me and fought with me over interpretation of the map.
When I was traveling through the barren hills of Ladakh, there were friends who happen to be Bihari, Punjabi, and UPite (I guess, I never checked).
My chat history shows I chat a lot with my friends who are from Assam, Manipur, Delhi, etc.
When I find a long lost non-Bengali school friend on Orkut, I am equally elated as when I find a Bengali friend.
Yes, we are all different. Maybe, we speak different languages at home. Maybe, what we eat given a choice is different. Maybe our prayers are different. Maybe our traditional clothes are different. But isn't that a good thing? How boring life would be if everyone around me were similar in taste, manners, and habits! I can't alienate people because they are different. I will go on celebrating the differences. Are you with me?
On the Road Again:Coonoor
4 weeks ago