The Jewel of the Crown

This day last year I had stepped foot in India for the first time ever. I finally met family members that I never had the chance to meet before, ate truly authentic Indian food, interned for a while, and even visited some of the exquisite sites that are scattered across the nation. It is crazy to think that this trip is what propagated this mess of a blog, but look how far we have come!

Top: India Gate; Bottom (from left to right): Qutub Minar and the Lotus Temple

Now that I am back from London, it is very evident to me that while both places have a long and convoluted relationship with one another, that India has always been the prized jewel of Britain. From spices, gemstones (stolen ones like the Koh-i-Noor diamond), textile patterns/designs, India has added much color to Britain’s gray skies over hundreds of years. Yet, it is interesting to have seen firsthand how much of an influence the two have had on each other (ex: the sheer number of proper Indian restaurants located in London alone, and the British-influenced education system in India, etc.). In a way, it is kind of like an osmosis of sorts. While there is still a lot of contested issues surrounding the long history between the two countries, it has still been an absolute privilege to have experienced living and traveling in both and to have observed these similarities and differences. But before I get all political and before I make this post too long, I’ll end here by expressing my deepest gratitude and thanks for having been able to visit India after so many years. I must also thank my relatives that I met for being so warm, friendly, accommodating, and welcoming – you helped me adjust smoothly and taught me many things about the country that I would never have known. And lastly, thank you to my own family (especially my dad) for insisting on my to go. Who knows, if I never had taken the plunge, I may not have been able to grow as a person as I feel that I have now.

So, as I reminisce on my time in India, here are some songs for you to add some spice to your own lives. Enjoy and phir milenge!

Mudian To Bach Ke – here’s a bhangra song for you to dance the night away to. (Also the music video is just something… those edits, man)

Phir Le Aya Dil – from the film Barfi! I personally haven’t seen the film, but it’s gotten good reviews and my parents enjoyed it.

Desi Girl – from the film Dostana. Again, haven’t seen this movie (I know, I’m the worst) – but hey, if you’re a fan of Priyanka Chopra’s work in the States, this would be a good Bollywood movie to dip your toes into! Also, this song is just so catchy!

Radha – from the film Student of the Year. This is on the list only because Radha is another version of my name. (Note: I do not dance or party or wear jewelry as the song suggests… lol).

Kal Ho Naa Ho – from the CLASSIC film Kal Ho Naa Ho. Yo, guys. Honestly, if you haven’t seen Kal Ho Naa Ho, get on it. It is a tear jerker, but one of the last few “good” Hindi movies in my opinion. Also, the songs are so well done in this movie.

Kashmiri Main Tu Kanyakumari – from Chennai Express. Yet again, I have not seen this film, but I found about this song last year while watching Indian Idol Junior and it was so catchy (and nicely sung by those kids!) so I had to add this to the list in honor of that!