India as imagined by various ancestors and members of our kutumbh (left is right, right is left, centre is ancient)

Bharat Manthan…an online journey

Abhishek Thakore


Welcome to Rediscovery of India

Start this online journey with

  • 2.5 hours of time (uninterrupted)
  • Cups of coffee or tea or your favourite drink
  • A journal / notepad and various colour pens
  • Friends, if you have some hanging around
  • A strong internet connection


Let’s begin this Manthan (without going into the whys and hows and let’s dive right in)

  1. Here’s how our ancients, having spent time in this uninterrupted civilisation, articulated what they figured out….

Opening and closing chants of Discovery of India

Pause and write what this evokes…maybe take a walk around, and sense into what it feels like to live and roam in the same land that the authors of these chants did?

We are the present of this ancient civilisation. How can we pass on what has been given to us? Do we continue with the ways that we have learned, the ones of myth and stories and religious discourses? Or do we create new ones?

2. The intent has always been to move from darkness to light….and one of the mightiest empires was powered by one of the mightiest intellects…

Chanakya, the serial’s opening captures “Asto Ma Sadgamaya

(shout out to my alma mater for drawing from the wisdom of Upanishads in its motto)

Some questions for reflection…

What has been the greatness of our civilisation?
How do we embody what we have inherited?

3. For the more empirical ones, I love how Ollie Bye captures the early years of India in this animation from 29th century BCE

Interestingly, a year ago, the same person / collective launched another video documenting India’s history from the Iron Age onwards….it was more detailed and made me very ‘proud’

Here, you can ask yourself questions about ‘history’ itself -

What are the many versions of history? Who decides when history begins? When does it start to get documented? Who gets the right to tell the story? And how much can the story tellers decide who wins or loses?

You could also dive into your personal history and its various versions

And, if you have a grandparent, this would be a good time to make a note to ask them their version of the British occupation of India and the partition days….

4. Meanwhile, let’s head straight to the modern Indian state’s creation

Where does India begin? 15 August 1947 (for the nation state)…

This was Aazadi…TOUGH

Questions to reflect would be on Aazadi…we use that word…do we get what it means? How does it differ vis-a-vis Swaraj? What do we really want? And what do we mean when we say we want “Aazadi”?

5. And every Indian and non-Indian at that time must have played a part…who’s remembered, who’s forgotten, who can tell?

And yet, we owe it to these people, really

They held the birth pains

Whenever anything needs to be born, there is a churning…are you ready to churn? Are you ready for the Bharat Manthan?

Remember Bharat is not “India” the nation state alone….it’s not only the geography…though in 1947, a bloody and painful line was drawn to “birth” the new India….

6. And yes, the other side of the border felt it too

Maybe this would be a good time to think that on the other side of the border are also human beings, people….with their joys and sadness and all of that…..I love this Coke ad [though I don’t endorse Coke], this ad captures something for me…Nusrat is priceless….

Make some notes folks! Hope you’re having as much fun as I am :)

7. So, while we love our country….

This will be possible only when

For which we will have to

What does all this mean for you? Time for some note taking….

8. And eventually…we’ll figure it out

Come let’s fulfil our tryst with destiny

What’s gonna be your role in this tryst?

9. Cos together, we’re stronger!

And haan, its all about Sur…for me for sure….mile Sur mera Tumhara…toh Sur bane Humara…..

If you have no final notes to make, soak into this beautiful rendition….

Jai Jagat!!

10. Thank you for walking this journey with me. How was it? Feedback? What did it leave you with?

Drop me an email :

Lots of love