Things to ponder
India never invaded any country
in her last 10,000 years of history.
It is the only society in the world which has never
Takshila : World's first university
(700 BC), 10,500 students, 60 courses.
Zero was invented by Aryabhatta.
Language Sanskrit: The only
context-free natural language in the world, mother of all Indo-European
Revolution of earth around the
Sun as calculated by Bhaskaracharya (5AD) 365.258756484 days.
Chess (Shataranja or AshtaPada)
was invented in India.
Quotes on India
Albert Einstein : "We owe a
lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no
worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made."
Mark Twain : "India is, the
cradle of the human race,the birthplace of human speech,the mother of history,the
grandmother of legend,and the great grand mother of tradition. our most
valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are
treasured up in India only.
Hu Shih, former Ambassador of
China to USA said:
India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20
centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.
Dr. Arnold Toynbee - British Historian
It is already becoming clear that a chapter which has
a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to
end in the self-destruction of the human race ... At this supremely dangerous
moment in history, the only way of salvation for Mankind is the Indian
Population : 960Million
Languages : Roughly 24 major languages. Hindi is the
National Language spoken by the majority of people. Almost all indian languages
are derivatives of Sanskrit, an ancient language still taught in many of
Religion :Hindu 80%, Muslim 14%, Christian 2.4%, Sikh 2%,
Buddhist 0.7%, Jains 0.5%, other 0.4%.
INDIA : From the eyes of an Indian
It is a challange to describe india
in words, it is too complicated but worth trying. I would thus try
my best to draw a rough picture of this nation.
Planning to visit India, think twice , you got to be really tough and an
adventurist. It can be a nightmare too. Indeed no one can understand india
by merely visiting it for few weeks, you should plan for months along with
a first aid box. No , I don't mean to scare you to death but it's different,
just like the other side of a coin. You can't compare things which are
inherently different, the history, culture, spirituality and the society.
India is the second most populated country, next to china but has more
population density, the root of all the chaos! There is no room for individuality
outside the four walls of your home, try going to a shopping mall looking
too fancy. You might feel being scanned by a million eyes , everyone giving
a funny look at you. Even if you were a non believer, it wouldn't take
more than 2-3 minutes and you would be praying to god for a rescue helicopter.
While roaming on streets, just follow your instincts, no need to say hi!
to anyone just because he was staring at you or you just happened to block
his way. People in India say Hi to someone they know or they would
like to talk to, it is an initiator of conversation. Don't feel bad
because people stare at you in public, it's normal for everyone and especially
if you look different.
One of the toughest thing in India is to be alone, it's next to impossible
unless you are willing to lock yourself in a room. Try travelling
in a public transportation, you will find people discussing everything
from world politics to the current price of milk. Indeed many times it's
very entertaining and the journey time just dilates. I had travelled
more than 1800 miles in a single train for nearly 40 hours but never felt
bored, it used to be a family environment within few hours, people exchanging
their food, playing games , reading each others magzines etc.
A person who tries to be too much in himself is not much acceptable to
society, but as I said you shouldn't expect your personal freedom when
you are exposed to the society. Move with the crowd but with caution,
it's like a phychological game, you have to identify the nature of a person
by his looks, actions etc and then only move forward, otherwise you might
land up in a lot of trouble also. There are all kinds of people, helpful,
kind hearted and also cheats.
it comes to cleanliness, things are quite dirty, i mean roads , streets
etc are not thoroughly cleaned everyday. Also there is a lot of heat and
dust. If you are in a big city like Delhi, you might be inhaling the pollution
worth 20 cigarettes everyday. The best litmus test for pollution is the
dirt on your shirt collar, don't forget to wash it every evening. To stay
healthy in India, here are the tips (a) don't eat outside too much, so
what should you eat, well I would leave it to you, do some R & D...
(b) Take bath atleast once in a day , if possible twice. (c) Carry your
own water, it takes time to adjust to the tap water but most of the indians
have a tough immune system for all these things.
Driving in India is like playing a video game with the difference that
you are actually in it! The rules of the game are fairly simple (a) You
should always head towards your destination. (b) You can drive in any direction
or lane as long as you do not hit anyone. (c) You can break any rule as
long as it is safe to do so and there is no traffic police around.
(d) To determine the right of way, follow a simple rule, the driver of
the biggest vehicle has the right of way. (e) Horns are used
for establishing communication between drivers on road. It works similar
to morse code. Techincally your vehicle might be running on gas but
practically it's the honk that moves it forward. Despite of all these India
has very less fatal accidents as compared to other countries. The reason
is simple , you can do all kinds of zig-zag motions on road but can never
attain a killer speed, the roads and traffic are the natural speed limiters.
Geographically, one can find all kinds of variations, on one end there
is great himalayan ranges and other hand there is huge desert. The climate
varies from region to region, north is colder while south is hot, there
is a place in north-east which records world's highest rainfall and there
are deserts in rajasthan with virtually no rainfall. Almost every state
has a different language and culture and yet they are all indians, a unity
An indian society can be easily divided in three categories, (a)
A Poor class , mostly uneducated (b) Middle class,mostly highly educated
(c) Rich class, usually education is for maintaining status in society.
But yet in general , the society is very conservative. Majority of the
marriages in India are still arranged marriages, i.e the parents choose
the bride/bridegroom. Love marriages are still very rare though are getting
some acceptance in big cities.
Majority of people in India are Vegitarian, even those who do eat meat,
the primary food is still vegitarian. Surprisingly many people in West
relate vegitarianism to poverty. That might have been a reason for Hitler
to be a vegitarian but it's incorrect with respect to India, infact stuffs
like beaf are extremely cheap in india, though it's sale is banned. Vegitarianism
in India is linked to religion and the culture of India. Even though
on average, hindu's don't eat meat but then it varies according to one's
sect. Hinduism could be subdivided into three sects, Vaishnavs ( those
who believe in lord Vishnu,God of preservation ) ; Shakt's ( Those who
believe in Gods of Energy and power) and lastly Shavs ( Those who believe
in lord Shiva, the destroyer of evil). Amoungst all these only Vaishnav's
are pure vegitarians. It is interesting to know why Hindu's are vegitarians,
the ancient indians were not vegitarians , It was the philoisophy of Jainism
(Lord Mahavira , 600BC) which influenced the people of the region.
Mahavira first taught the concept of non-violence or having pity
on life forms. So he called for sacrificing one's desire for eating meat.
There is another concept in hinduism which classifies food to a person's
nature. It divides the instincts of life forms into two categories (a)
Peaceful, innocent (b) Violent, aggressive. Usually all carnivorous
creatures are classified as aggressive, reason being simple, they have
to kill their prey and have to be rapid moving. Whereas all herbivorous
creatures are peaceful. Similary it's a myth in hinduism that eating meat
induces violent tendicies in human beings too which is not something
In India , never ask for Beef in any restaraunt, especially if it one that
belongs to a hindu. Cow is a sacred animal worshiped by hindus, the very
idea of killing it might evoke unfavourable responses. Many people find
this stupid , but there is hardly anything in hinduism without any explanation.
Indeed the term worship itself has a different meaning in hindu texts.
Worship is considered more as a means of paying repect than reverence
paid to a divine being, and respect can be paid to anyone. Since cow used
to be a domestic animal, represents innocence , peace , it is the animal
who sacrifices it's milk for man, hence it is worthy of all respect from
man. Can anyone kill and eat his own pet?