'Visiting India is equal to doing a world tour'
'India is a world in itself...'
'If anyone wants to travel, they should first visit India because it is equal to a world tour. Each state has something different to tell,' says stand up comic and television celebrity Kapil Sharma, in our continuing series where well-known Indians tell Rediff.com what they love most about India.
Indians are very emotional, and this quality you will not find anywhere in the world.
When I went to the United States for the first time for a show, I met a lady from Hoshiarpur, Punjab, who had come to visit her son. She brought some saag for me saying, 'It's difficult to get Indian food in the US.'
This is what I like about India; wherever we go our people make us feel at home.
In which ever part of the world Indians live, on an average they try to keep their values intact.
India is a world in itself because of the different languages, cultures, traditions and religions. Festivals like Diwali and Id are celebrated together with people of other religions.
I feel if anyone wants to travel, they should first visit India because it is equal to a world tour. Each state has something different to tell, in terms of its social diversity. This is one of the reason it attracts foreigners too.
I was invited to the US for Diwali and to Jakarta for Holi. I could see Indians celebrate both the festivals just like we celebrate it in India, maybe even better. That was amazing; it shows how much we value our culture.
Among the places in India, I personally like Himachal Pradesh, because of the hills, and also because it's away from the hustle bustle of the cities. Whenever I feel I need a break, I go there to rejuvenate.
One of the best films that captures India to my mind is Hum Aapke Hain Kaun. This movie is my personal favourite too. It has family values, traditions, great relations, responsibilities and sacrifice.
When I travel abroad, what I miss most is Indian food and my family. But wherever I go Indian families living abroad take care of that. I miss my family a lot -- especially my mother -- when I am abroad. I may go to Amristar, my hometown, once in a year, but when I go abroad -- be it even for 10 days -- I start missing my mom.
We need to keep our country clean. When we go abroad to places like the US or Dubai we follow their rules promptly, like throwing waste in the bins, but when it comes to our country we are careless.
I think even in India we need to individually take responsibility.
Another aspect is corruption, politicians are busy buying villas abroad and forgetting their duties for the common man and country. I think that attitude should also change.
The day they think differently, India will grow.
Plus as individuals, we should also stop bribing people to get our work done.
Kapil Sharma is the popular host of Comedy Nights with Kapil on Colors TV, one of India's top-rated television shows.
He spoke to Rajul Hegde.
Image: Rajasthani men pose during the Pushkar fair in Rajasthan.
Photographs: Kamal Kishore/Reuters