These days I often get nostalgic,(sign of getting older am sure), and think often of my childhood. A place and time which is no more. The country where I was born and grew up has changed beyond recognition.
The India of today is progressive, rich and said to be more productive. Am not sure if it is a better place to live, I can’t judge as I don’t live there any more and have not done for some 42 years or so.
My childhood was in the post partition era, people were recovering from the shock of the blood shed,Nearly one million people died during the partition(.All killed by their own kind which) to achieve that division
.In order to make amends there was a greater respect for each other among the Hindus and the Muslims. They mixed with each other,respected their respective beliefs and may be quietly vowed never to repeat that inhumanity again.
We moved around the country quite a lot, my fathers job took us to various States, which differ vastly from one another. The language,food and culture are all different. I travelled from the south to north and the east. Even the weather was different.
Today India is a prosperous and rich. Last time i was there (2007), we stayed for a few days in Bombay. The skyline of parts of Bombay resembled manhattan. All skyscrapers and glass fronted five star hotels, glinting in the sun,and reflecting the sea,as this was near Nariman Point ,the most expensive area built around the sea.
Driving to the airport though,the vista was very different. Miles and miles of huts and corrugated iron shacks. Pot bellied kids and women doubled up and older before their time ,working /selling by the roadside.
Perhaps am full of nostalgia ,and perhaps each country has its sores it keeps hidden, but i do not recall such wide contrast of riches and poverty.
Do you feel the same about a country? Is it us who keeps a preserved picture of it in our head,not related to the reality?