I am a proud Indian. When we travel outside our own country, it is exciting to see how other nationals take us and our country. I have encountered some mesmerizing moments while travelling from New Delhi, India to London, United Kingdom.
Last year in August 2017, I moved to London with my husband and one-year-old son. After spending seven months, I felt homesick and decided to pay a short visit to our family in India ( Dehradun and Delhi). I traveled alone with my son this winter by Virgin Atlantic. The flight was tiring as my son refused to sit patiently throughout the time. Not his fault, though. He is an innocent brain. Anyhow, we landed safely and started towards the exit gates of the aircraft. As I reached the aircraft gate and about the reach the airport ground, something strange happened. My heart and eyes got filled with emotional tears. I do not know what happened. It was just seven months since I am away from my own country. But as soon as I touched my land, the inner Indian patriot woke up. We started moving towards the immigration gates, and now I can hear Hindi songs being played on airport speakers. They felt so thrilling to me that in no time I was singing along and not to mention, out loud, caring for no one.
Our memorable vacation of 40 days came to an end, and we head to Indira Gandhi International Airport, New Delhi (Not a smooth travelling day though; I took our car with driver, lost way and roam for about an hour near my home and then have to take a cab, led my driver to follow us and finally reached airport at just right time. Phew!) After a quick check-in and security check, my flight was scheduled for boarding at Gate number 3. When I was approaching the gate, the signboards for gates seemed somehow confusing to me, so I asked a foreign man walking beside me to see if he is also looking for the same gate as I am. He was though going to the other one. I thanked him for listening for to me, said goodbye, and wished him a safe and happy journey. His next statement came to me like a startle; he said, “have a safe flight. Acche din ayenge (Good days are near)”. This is a popular slogan of our Prime Minister, which I now realized is not only a catchy phrase in India but in the world too. I replied to him with the same slogan and walked away with a smile.
We boarded the plane. The crew at Virgin Atlantic was very supportive and cheerful. One of the lady crew members was responsible for the service of our side of seats. She seemed to me of a British National. I was seated along with another Indian couple with a year old daughter. At our seats, she used the word “Chai” instead of “Tea”. This is appreciated as she tried to serve us with the way we are used to. That is quite thoughtful of her. Then she asked me for the name of my son. To this, I said, “His name is Samarth”. It is a typical Hindi name. And I didn’t expect her to utter it. But to my astonishment, she not only uttered it but also with the exact pronunciation as it should be. And then to make me feel more Indian, she said, “ I can also say Mera naam Michelle hai ( My Name is Michelle)”. We laughed out so hard.
It is a great feeling when you notice that the people at foreign lands are trying to accept you into their culture and try to make you feel comfortable. The airport incident proves that the world has all eyes and ears on us. They know what we are up to. And I guess this is our power. India is progressing in the future by taking every continent along with itself. I wish this moves in a positive direction always. I may not be an active person in India’s political affairs; I may not know the exact stats of India’s political condition; what I know, being an emotional being, that I am adored for being Indian. You can tag me a “Naive Indian,” but I am excited to say, “Jai Hind”.