Editorial October 2012
This is the best part of the year – attending upcoming festivals and planning a trip to India. Like everything else, India has come long way in tourism. All this time when we think of travel to India, we never thought about beaches, wildlife, mountain climbing, or hiking. The Indian government, with its Incredible India campaign, has shown us areas where most us never thought to go. In this issue, we present a series of articles on India’s hotspots.
Our goal in presenting the many facets of India is to inspire our youth who are born in the United States, but have never visited India to plant a visit. I want them to visit India with an open mind and leave their impressions of a dirty India behind. Some time ago at a weekend party, I was engaged in a discussion with a few Indians who were bashing India because of the noise and air pollution they noticed on their last trip to India. These individuals did not have any positive things to say about India. Needless to say I became very frustrated. I interrupted and asked if they can name one positive experience while they were in India. To help them out, I asked if they noticed how the phone connections have become more reliable over the last few years. Did you notice that all international airports including Ahmedabad are air-conditioned? Did you notice that lines during custom clearance are practically gone? Suddenly, the discussion became much more positive. I went on to explain that just because our world changed overnight by coming to live and work in US, we cannot expect India to change overnight. We cannot compare India to the US, but instead to the one in which we grew up. There is no doubt India, like the US and many other countries, has its share of problems. We just need to be balanced, and encourage the youth with our positive experiences. Children are always listening to the positive and negative. So let’s paint a positive picture, so they do not only remember negatives.
Speaking of travel, it is my personal pleasure to present an article by Ritu Linhart about her trip to India for an Ekal Vidyalay conference. Aruna and I have known Ritu for the last few years. We have not met a young Indian American so committed to volunteering for India’s progress, specifically for Ekal Vidyalay. She is full of energy and knowledge just like her father Ram Kumar. Her article on VanYatra in India is very inspiring for all of us and especially our young readers.
Let me take a moment to also thank the vendors, brides, grooms, and all attendees for supporting us at the MyShadi Bridal Expo in Orlando. With their support, the event was a huge success. An article in this issue provides details, photographs, and information about winners of several competitions. A special thanks to Naz Samji from Zamana Lifestyle who took some amazing pictures, which are also posted on our Facebook page and our website. We hope you’ll take a look!