Winning over those cold Russian days- I am More Indian Than You Think!

The wind was cold and harsh. Despite the heavy jacket, it seemed to cut through every muscle of my body. As the snow fell on the cobbled streets of Moscow, I cursed myself for having volunteered for the eighteen month long assignment, in the capital city of Russia. Much to my mother’s displeasure, I had packed my bags, knowing very well the temperature in winters could touch as low as -15 degrees centigrade!!!

As I stepped out of the Domadevo Airport, armed with the one Russian phrase I knew- здравствуйте (“How are you?”), the gargantuan city of Moscow, simply took me by storm. The food, the people, the language, the roads, they all seemed a tad too distant. I missed all that I had taken for granted so far in my life. The music on All-India Radio, which my mom played every morning, the steaming Dal-Chawal she would prepare, and the old Bollywood movies that Doordarshan sometimes telecast on Sunday afternoons.

Some days you just need to create your own sunshine… Shades of Moscow in winters

Eighteen months, how was I going to get through it all?

I walked into a quirky looking café near Red Square…

I couldn’t but help notice the music that was being played. The soulful music of Anoushka Shankar on her Sitar wafted through the air. For years, the sound of the Sitar was unknown to the west, until Pundit Ravi Shankar opened up a whole new world. His daughter, Anoushka Shankar, is now conserving this essence of Indian music. That evening at the Russian Café, the classical music of the Indian subcontinent cast a magical spell on me.

I am more Indian than you think, because the music that day felt so humane, and the Russian café felt more like home.

The Indian restaurant in the by-lanes of Moscow

The steaming bowl of Sambar and soft Basmati rice in front of me made my mouth water. It is said that this lentil-based vegetable stew, made with tamarind, originated in the kitchens of Thanjavur Marathas during the 17th century, in South India.

I am more Indian than you think, because centuries later as a humble south Indian girl, I feasted on Sambar, across the globe in a country alien to Thanjavur or the Marathas.

The day I watched a Kathak performance in Moscow

As the flags of Russia and India intertwined at the backdrop of the stage, I sat spellbound. Young Russian students elegantly performed the “thath” sequence, as the sound of ghungroos and the tablas, echoed across the houseful auditorium.

I surely am more Indian than you think as tears filled my eyes, when the claps from the audience fell loudly on my ears.

And similarly, more Indian than you think is Lufthansa Airlines

Lufthansa airlines makes your flight experience as Indian as possible when you soar into foreign skies. Whether it is the food, the inflight entertainment or the hospitality, feel at home from the moment you step on board. Be welcomed the Indian way and get spoken to in a language you understand best. Lufthansa gives you the comfort of being yourself- that of an Indian!

Here’s celebrating India’s growing global influence as seen in this new Lufthansa TVC. Surely, we are #MoreIndianThanYou

Time surely flies by when you are having fun

I had found my winning way, in snowy Russia, as those eighteen months in Moscow just flew by. When all things around you are Indian, the feeling of belonging to the country, stays within the heart. It is said that when you travel the world, you realize how much of an Indian you actually are. I had finally understood the profoundness this statement held.

Have something to say?