'I love my India'


 Deepika Padukone at the India Independence Day Parade in New York last year.

Yeh mera India, I love my India’ sings Amrish Puri, an NRI from America in the hit film Pardes. He is not just a fictional character, whose love for his country is beyond words. There are many Indians like him, living in different countries, who long to be in
India, especially on Independence Day. Nevertheless, they make it a point to celebrate India’s most special day in their own way. Metrolife asked a few Bangaloreans settled in different countries about their plans on I-Day only to discover the strong love that they share for India.

Kiran Nanjundan, a student at the California State University, has been living in the United States for two years. For him, there is nothing like India. “It is the best. The people are so loving and caring.

Besides, I love the festivals and traditions we follow,” he exclaims. This year, he is excited to attend the I-Day parade in San Francisco, where he is currently residing. “A lot of Indians gather here,” he adds. “There will be music, dance and fire crackers. It’s tough to describe it in words. To sum it up, it’s just like being in India.” Recalling the parade he attended in New York last year, he says, “It was a mind-blowing parade in Manhattan. There were many celebrities present as well. Deepika Padukone was one of them.”
Syed Mohammad Faseeh has been living in Dubai for several years. Every year he goes to the Indian Club in Dubai on August 15. “I make it a point to go to the Indian Club for the flag hoisting programme to pay my respect to our country and sing the national anthem,” he says.

However, it’s a working day for him. “So throughout the day, I listen to the Hindi FM station where Independence Day special programmes are aired,” he adds. “If I find time during the evening, I watch the special parade programme telecast on TV as well.”
Management student Vinith G moved to Singapore in April 2009. “There is an India in Singapore with a good percentage of population representing the Indian community. But what I miss is the noise and commotion one gets to see everywhere in India,” he says. “I definitely miss the traffic jams in Bangalore,” he jokes. Come August 15 and Vinith is planning to wear khadi. “As a PR representative for my college, singing the national anthem and distributing sweets on the campus are definitely in the agenda,” he informs.
     August 15 has always been a special and proud day for Grace Sneha David, who has been residing in New Zealand for the past six years. “It is still home for me,” exclaims she. Sneha lives in a small university town called Palmerston North. “The population of this City is about 75,000, which includes a small Indian population. Every year in the morning, the Indian flag is hoisted by Palmerston North’s mayor in the square at the city centre and the national anthem is sung,” she explains.

 “There is also an evening of celebration, where there are Indian dance performances,
Bollywood music, drama and Indian food stalls. This event is always well attended and
enjoyed by Indians and New Zealanders alike,” she says. 

Sneha is planning to attend a flag hoisting ceremony this I-Day. “I will also be out of town with a friend from Bangalore, who is on a short visit to NZ. It’s just great to share this day with someone from home,” she adds.

She sums up her love for India in beautiful words, “The richness of our culture lies in all its expressions, be it language, dress, music, art, food and its incredible diversity. And yet, the way we can all be together is what I love most about India.”   
   

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