The sky is overcast. It starts to rain slowly. And along with the raindrops, many memories from the years past completely drench the heart. The taste of Mom’s onion pakodas paired with a piping hot cup of tea lingers on. From somewhere far away, sounds of A.R. Rehman’s ‘Jai Ho’ float by, and all the ‘Indian’ songs crowd around in the head. Then a young Aamir Khan from ‘Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak’ shows up and the romanticism of ‘Dilwale Dulhaniya…’ won’t leave. When Fall season comes around every year, it brings with it the memories of Diwali and all the other festivals celebrated back ‘Home’. Summer holidays spent with grandparents & cousins, weekend outings with parents, watching ‘Rangoli’ on Doordarshan every Sunday morning, and the countless hours spent with college friends doing nothing……….all of it comes back. The memories are slightly faded, yet at the same time, they are clear and strong.
It’s been many years since we left India. We are now settled in the US. We built our careers, welcomed our children and are seeing them grow into fine young adults each day. The early years flew by in acclimatizing ourselves with the new environment. Soon the new culture grew upon us. But certain questions have always stayed in the back of our minds, and honestly, they even bother us a bit. As we assimilate into the new environment, are we starting to stray away from our roots? Are we forgetting our “Indian’ culture? And most importantly…..what happens after we are long gone? How will our children stay connected to their roots? How can we leave behind a lasting legacy? In this age of the Internet, how and where will they find quality references about Indian culture? It is several such thoughts that led to the birth of Indya Unlimited!
So it was the summer of 2009 when we got together and laid the foundation for IU. Each of us started writing about our favorite topics and then publishing on the website. Soon many topics were covered – food & recipes, history, films, travel & tourism, children’s stories, religion, festivals and even Blogs on contemporary topics. We always had the full support of our families but as our friends and acquaintances got to know about the website, we got a lot of encouragement from them as well. Slowly other people started approaching us about writing for the site and today we have many contributors. Initially we had only a handful of visitors but now we enjoy global readership with thousands of visitors every month. It’s a really small start of an ‘Infinite Journey’.
The truth is that it’s not only difficult, but pretty much impossible to cover ‘Indian’ culture in its entirety. There isn’t another topic as enormous and as complex as this. Yet, this is our humble effort at preserving and documenting Indian culture as best as we can. We sincerely hope that Indya Unlimited will leave a rich and lasting legacy for all of us and for the generations to come!
Kavita Pathak – Madhura Deshpande – Pallavee Amdekar
Special thanks to Deepa Doddihal for her support and encouragement!