Modern Day Tradition Lovers!

It’s not easy being a modern day Indian Girl. I mean, we are occupied with the pursuit of degrees and careers (which is likely to lead to stress related hair loss along with financial independence) whilst trying to strike a balance between modernisation and tradition. I feel like in the toss up between trying to be a high-flying professional in heels and being the quintessential Indian woman, culture and tradition often take the back seat. If we really wanted to, we could be the kolam* putting, bindi wearing Indian girl and power-suit wearing career woman at the same time. Where there is a will, there is a way!

Here are 4 things modern day Indian girls trying to preserve culture know all too well…

#1 Contrary to popular belief, our lives are NOT boring. Neither are we.

Our wardrobes are an amalgamation of jeans and saris, maang tikkas* and floral headbands, kurti tops and evening dresses. We are just as good at making pav bhajis as we are at making lasagnes. We enjoy reading the works of Tagore just as much as we adore the works of Jane Austen. We don’t mind a bit of fusion even though our hearts are lost to the greats of Indian Classical music. Plus we can tease you to no end in at least two different languages (be prepared to get owned).

#2 We are strong-willed (aka stubborn)

We are adaptable to change and are happy to go with the flow for practically everything ( cue no major preferences for places to see, type of car we drive or clothing brands), but one indication that our morals are at risk and we turn into  warrior princesses. Of course, we are not perfect and we make mistakes sometimes, but we really do try to be uncompromising about our values and traditions because this is the only way culture can be passed on to future generations.

#3 We often end up being the centre of unwanted attention

As much as being traditional feels so natural to us, we often forget that we are seen as a rarity in modern day society. Our friends and family are used to us, so we don’t really notice this fact until we meet new people. Then, there’s no running away from the spotlight. Be prepared for gasps of disbelief and comments about your past life “nee romba nala padare, nee pona janmathule Bhagawanekke ten ode abhishekam pannirpe*”.

#4 We are subject to interesting predicaments our peers will never understand

Sorry, I am not allowed to carpool with boys (Amma voice : THE ONLY BOY you are going anywhere with is your husband). Sorry, I have to get home before it gets dark ( Amma voice: everyone who lives here needs to get home before Bramhamuhurtham* ends). Sorry, I’m doing my prayers ( Amma voice: there is always enough time in a day to think about your salvation). Call it being over-protected or old-fashioned, but ultimately, our parents only go out of their way to protect us because they care for us. And really, we will only be treated like pampered, spoilt princesses by our parents. No one else is really going to drive us around everywhere at the cost of their inconvenience or go out of their way to make sure that nothing ever goes wrong for us!

What are other things you experience as a modern day Indian girl( or a friend of one)? Leave a comment down below:)

Glossary: Kolam( rice pattern made in indian homes), maang tikka( indian hair jewel), nee romba…( you sing really well, you must have offered so much honey to God in your past life), brahmamuhurtham ( auspicious time period of  4-8 am/pm)

I am a 20 year old University student living in Australia. I am no expert in Indian culture, but my love affair with this beautiful culture has been running strong for many years and I hope to share my passion with everyone this blog reaches:) Parts of this blog are fictional, while others are based on my own experiences. Any Brahmin influences on my writing are solely due to the fact that most of my exposure to the Tamil language has been through my TamBrahm friends ( I am not one). Happy reading! – Divya

 

I’m sorry Kali. I’m just not into you.

A yuga is a timeframe within a four age cycle, as per Indian spirituality. A complete Yuga consists of a transition from the Satya Yuga to the Treta Yuga, Dvapara Yuga and Kali Yuga. Sathya yuga is the time period where righteousness and truth prevails and as we progress through the other three timeframes, morality declines progressively until we reach the age of darkness and ignorance, or the Kali yuga. As predicted in Indian scriptures, in this age, people lack virtue. They become slaves to their passions and speak untruths. Humans eat forbidden foods and engage in unrestrained sinful practices. The environment is polluted, water and food become scarce. We currently live in the Kali Yuga. For the purposes of this piece, I have chosen to embody the Kali timeframe as a physical being. 

The cusp of Dwapara and Kali Yuga was accompanied by the laments of the Noble Parikshit. The metaphorical bull once standing firmly on four limbs of righteousness was now mutilated beyond recognition. The limbs of penance, cleanliness and compassion now gone, all that remained was truth. Amidst pangs of despair, your reign began.And so it was that man forgot the purpose of his birth, the road to salvation and  God himself.

Sensory gratification now reigns supreme. Strange times you have caused Kali, strange times indeed.  The path of righteousness is rarely tread upon, while acts of immorality are rampant. In a strange turn of events, doing the right thing has to be accompanied by valid justification. Doing the wrong thing is seamlessly integrated into social norms. I must say though Kali, you are doing your duty to perfection. Your efforts are far-reaching, to say the least.

Such is the time we live in, that we willingly intoxicate ourselves until basic consciousness is but a shadow in the distance. Such is the time that we live in, that we manipulate the earth, its resources and our animal counterparts with intentions are nothing short of being obnoxiously selfish. Such is the time that we live in, that women, who were once embodiments of virtue, physical manifestations of the divine mother, no longer see themselves thus.

It is but a saving grace that you vowed to only manifest your ill-effects where the name of the Lord is forgotten, where there is gambling, drinking, lustfulness and the desire to kill.  Although, by the looks of it, that doesn’t make much difference to most of our generation. These elements have all been incorporated into the normal, seen as nothing less than harmless fun. After all, wrong doings can be dismissed by claiming that to err is human. And perhaps, to some extent it may be. But in the grander scheme of things, man travels on the journey of life trying to understand his self and attain everlasting happiness.

Sooner or later, we will all realise that trying to seek bliss by pursuing materialism or sensory gratification is pointless and then your efforts will be futile, Kali. Then, no precious time shall be wasted on seeking the illusory treasure troves of impermanent happiness. The journey of self-discovery has to come to an end at some point and man will revel in its culmination. All in good time.

So as attractive as your proposal sounds, as tempting as it is to fall into your welcoming embrace, I have only one thing to say to you. Let’s agree to tread on separate paths, no hard feelings. Let’s keep a mutually exclusive existence going, I am not interested in anything else.

What are your thoughts on the predictions written in the scriptures? Pretty accurate? Leave a comment below!

I am a 20 year old University student living in Australia. I am no expert in Indian culture, but my love affair with this beautiful culture has been running strong for many years and I hope to share my passion with everyone this blog reaches:) Parts of this blog are fictional, while others are based on my own experiences. Any Brahmin influences on my writing a solely a product of my imagination and my interaction with Tambrahm friends. Happy reading! – Divya