Romain Rolland once wrote: If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India.
So is India the grand mansion for dreams where there is enough space for every dream to come true? Well, if eating raw rotten potatoes and a rotten fruit from the a garbage box of New Delhi railway station is a dream for a 5 year old then yes, Dreams do come true in this incredible country called India. There are many other categories of dreams that come true in India like dreaming of earning quick cash from the savings of hard working tax-paying Indians and shoving it off in various International banks or dreaming of becoming a gangster on the sub-urban streets of Mumbai. Nevertheless, people do dream in India and most of these dreams do come true (I guess).
But India also has authentic dreamers with ‘desired’ dreams and ‘with some supernatural power at work’ these dreams do come true. Personally, I think Romain Rolland is right, India is a land where dreams do come true and I don’t think ‘actualization’ of a dream is a problem in India but ‘dreaming’ itself is a challenge. Our dreams are mere expectations of people around us who expect us to work, live, dream in a certain way. We are suppressed, concealed, censored, cut off, crushed, covered up, contained and I could go on. We are used.
Leave alone Indians, India itself is a dream of Millions on the Earth. On one hand we have Indians eager to leave India and settle abroad on the other hand we have the ‘foreigners’ who want to visit and explore the land of dreams and sometimes even live here till the end of time. This is exactly what makes me wonder why? Why do people love India so much? Why do they want to visit India? Why is India their dream? Why would an international want to visit India when they know they will be cheated the very second they land? Why would an international try the street pani-puri even when they know that the water used might just cause them Cholera? Why would an international want to walk through the dirty streets of Kolkata or ‘enjoy’ the overcrowded Mumbai local? Why? What is it that makes them fall in love with India? Is it just the exotic beauty of India’s nature or is the historic relevance or the rich culture or is it something much bigger…something profound.
The answers to these questions are much more than just answers. They can help us conceive that there is much more to India than we think there is. India has always been a complex amalgamation of perspective and every perspective matters.