Food & Drink Magazine

More Indian Than You think-Desi Influence and Lufthansa

By Shalinidigvijay @shalinidigvijay
My daddy once told me that potatoes, rats and Punjabis can always be found  even in the remotest corner of the world.  Not that he meant offense towards any community or any one or anything, (He is Punjabi by birth and endorses the free and hard working spirit of all born on this soil) but he was trying to explain to us the simple fact that the sons of this soil are born entrepreneurs, they can turn the most unproductive of things into gold with sheer hard work ,foresight and their awesome love of life.
My daddy now relaxes in his retirement from his stint as a shippie  ,reminiscing means amusing tales of the weirdest of weirdos   encountered in his  two decades as a Master Mariner.
Circa 1990's :-One such story was about some happiness he embraced in the ice  cold north western Canadian port of Prince Rupert. After having crossed stormy seas and delegated his juniors in completing the required work before moving on to the next port of call , my daddy went exploring the town.
imagine his elation, when he saw a turban ,a turban that reminded him of home and a man who spoke his own dialect...
In a town of about 13000 residents, there was only one Indian, who was married to a Canadian woman and was manning the city grocery and drug store.
All of us know of the mini India's in cities now dominated by Indian communities, but in a land where walruses bask in the weak sunlight and people wear layers and layers of clothes without bathing for days at end, here was a man in a white turban and Churidar pajamas ,who obviously made an effort to keep them white.
So many years on my daddy remembers the happiness and awe he felt when he met a man From his own soil where the aurora borealis shine ,he could feel the drumbeats of his folk songs and smell the fine fragrance of the soil (apologies Gulzar Saheb ,I could not translate mitti ki saundhi Khushboo into English) in a land so far away from India.
A similar story he relates of Kopka ,Finland.  In a town with a stagnant population of 30000 people, there was one Punjabi, who had a kiosk in one of the malls ans was retailing brass items he had sourced from Moradabad, Uttar Pradesh. This man ,daddy said had strayed from an immigration agent who had promised them Amrika and brought them via sea from Punjab like fugitives.
He managed to break free and reached this remote Scandinavian port and set up shop ,stock and base.
Indians are going where no man has gone before.  With a strength of character and the desire to do better in life ,their resistance to failure is almost indomitable.
That is why , you'll find a tandoor in Poland, and Jalebis in Tenessee and Kanjivaram saris on the Paris Fashion week and Maruti Alto's in Brazil....Can you get any more Desi?
Many more stories, but I have one to tell too, of a Swiss national who stopped hubby dear in Jaipur and asked him if he knew what the RF on his nike cap stood for? This gentleman was from Basel ,Switzerland, the home town of Roger Federer.
 He explained to us how fascinating the stories of Rajasthan and India were to those who lived in a land bereft of spice ,colour and warmth. How the first holiday destination of many abroad is India.
The world is experiencing India, in all its glory. Maybe History will be rewritten, And India's past glory will resurface...
Every one is switching to Chicken Tikka Masala and Kingfisher beer, Yoga is the new ancient philosophy for a good life and  samosas are now being filled with mince and peaches are being made into a chutney to be slathered on Philadelphia Steak sandwiches... can the world get any more Desi?
And hip hop dances being performed on Kajrare kajrare in So you think you can dance ,John Travolta shaking his booty to bollywood , AR Rahman becoming a mascot of soulful music , and the bindi rocking the fashion world... ShahRukh Khan being a crowd magnet and Hollywood stars falling flat at the beauty of the Indian Missus....Can the world get any more Desi?
More Indians on blogger and in Google and Mercedes and NASA then ever...
We Indians seem to be enveloping the world with our magic...so that even if something is so distinctly foreign , it has an Indian influence.  Every thing is more Indian than you think.
I forgot to mention the Gurudwara in Phuket, Thailand, that serves Guru ka langar on tables 24*7 ,to all ....Indian or not.
Lufthansa is spreading the word...
The world is More Indian than 
you think.
So where are you traveling to today???

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