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Rashmi Bansal: I grew up believing that India Can!

Last updated on: August 26, 2013 15:33 IST

'I grew up believing that India can'

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India can launch a rocket into space, grow its own food and make its own dams. That's something to be proud of, and I certainly am.

I grew up believing all religions lead to the same God. You can have yours, I can have mine, and we can enjoy each others's festivals.

I believe this India still exists in the majority of hearts, says best-selling author Rashmi Bansal, on Rediff.com's special series on what we love most about India.

I grew up in a colony of scientists, where uncles in bush-shirts and lungis explored the outer reaches of space and the inner recesses of numbers.

I grew up believing that India can. India can launch a rocket into space, grow its own food and make its own dams.

That's something to be proud of, and I certainly am.

I grew up in a colony of diversity where people came from the north, south, east and west.

I grew up believing that India is one Jalebi to rangoli, Holi to haldi-kumkum, life is one big celebration.

India has a rich and varied heritage and you can see it in your neighbour. That's another thing to be proud of, and I certainly am.

I went to a Catholic school where we said a prayer to Jesus every morning and occasionally visited the church.

I grew up believing all religions lead to the same God. You can have yours, I can have mine, and we can enjoy each others's festivals.

I believe this India still exists in the majority of hearts, and I am proud of that.

I see so much dignity and humanity all around me. The vegetable seller, the dhobi, the rickshaw driver, the raddiwallah.

Life is not easy, yet they smile a lot. You can be poor in material wealth, yet rich in spirit.

That is the character of my country and it makes me proud.

Rashmi BansalI love the small-small things in the everyday life of India. The pressure cooker whistle, the cawing of crows.

Colourful dupattas and dhinchak autos. Do rupaye ka kadipatta, roadside golgappas.

Teekha, meetha, khatta, pheeka -- a riot of sight, smells and sound.

I love India because I belong to it and it belongs to me.

I accept this country, with its flaws and its failings, as it accepts me.

Bestselling author Rashmi Bansal is an alumnus of the Indian Institute of Management- Ahmedabad.

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Image: The women's police contingent at the Independence Day parade in Srinagar, August 2012.
Photographs: Fayaz Kabli/ Reuters