Dipti Butani, hope you’re reading this one. Coz this ones’ for you! 🙂
At the stroke of the Midnight Hour, I shut the paperback that I was reading and head to close the balcony door. My neighbor had invited me for the ‘Independence Day Bash’ that she was throwing, but I decided it was wise to just curl up in my sofa and finish reading Midnights’ Children. Well congratulations folks! It’s another public holiday and for those in India, what a long weekend! I wasn’t born back then and nor were you; unless you’re my dead grandfather and reading this from wherever it is that they sent you (RIP); but the day has been scratched in my memory since childhood. I loved waking up at 5:30 AM (DST) only to switch on Door Darshan and watch the Prime Minister deliver his ‘Address to the Nation’. But now, I will just watch it on youtube! 🙂
India and Indians all over the world have achieved a lot of fame, name, blah blah blah. No doubt we are the world’s 10th largest economy and the 5th fastest growing economy; 1 point ahead of ChinaTown! I could go on and on and on about my home country. But that’s not the point I’m trying to make. You have Wikipedia for that.
The point being made is this – are we really free? (hey u have heard this one before? Guess what? Now u can read it too). On August 15, 1947, India may have obtained release from the shackles of a few men who brought us order, justice and prosperity. No, I’m not an Angrez left behind. Im an Indian, true to every mm of my Indian Heart. Lets go back in history and think about the various wars waged on the pretense of acquiring fertile lands, expanding boundaries and above all the penultimate greed of commanding absolute power! One man’s greed skilled thousands of Indians to fight against their own brotherhood. We were free back then too, so why couldn’t we choose any wiser? On the other hand, the chains imposed by a few Gora Sahibs, skilled millions of Indians to stand together and fight those against their brethren. No matter how short lived the freedom struggle (C’mon what’s a couple of 100 years compared to centuries of wars waged in the name of righteousness, God, the Emperor, and whatever you’ll have) ; it gave us this message – it is only at the brink of our tolerance do we find the courage to fight back!
But why wait – that long? Till we are pushed to walk the long narrow plank? Till our heads are pushed down, our backs broken and our foot cracked by tilling the soil for the Angrez Sahib? The answer, dear friends, we all know. Though our versions of it may be different, but at the end of the day, we are still Indian and even especially back then, anyone and everyone was superior to the brown man.
No matter what the history, I believe that every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. However, it’s really sad to see today, the future that was worried about yesterday. We are back to fighting against each other. Be it at the Parliament House or the Ambani House. The Mango People (Aam Janta) are back to tilling the soil, only this time its filled with shit. But someone’s gotta work the plow to get the dough, rite? So we cock our great Indian head to the side, plaster the evergreen Indian smile on our face and get working on the shit; with our heads so low, that we have the world thinking its some new yoga-joga thingi.
I sometimes feel that Indians ought to be adopted by Disney coz we believe that someday someone will come and rescue us of our misery. Or even Yash Raj Films will do; after all, they too believe that someone somewhere is made for you! Bullshit! No Prince is coming, there ain’t gonna be another Mahatma and you know why? Coz we cannot be that Indian who followed the Mahatma wholeheartedly. Lighting a few candles, partying in khadi clothes and saying Jai Hind twice a year is not the India Gandhi led. Let’s face it, we are a different India, a different generation of ideas, but the best part is, we can still work the system, not because we are Indians and therefore born genius, but because we are a Constitutional Republic. In simple terms, the so-called government is a representative of We the People.
So it’s time to wake up my fellow Indians and those foreigners who consider themselves Indian at Heart! India is not corrupt; We the People are! India is not filthy; We the People are! It’s time We the People awaken from our fantasy and switch on the television/Laptop/Smart Phone as only few minutes remain for the Prime Minister to ‘Address the Nation’! I know the guy is a bit slow with his speech, but he’s old, more educated than us and more importantly, our ‘representative’, so let’s show a little respect, shall we?
Happy 65th Independence Day, O Mother!
P.S. Dipsy the Gypsy – got carried away in my own address! Every time we talk about being free, I often think how? It’s so complicated now a days, just like everything else… the speech recognition tool, getting the perfect mix of wasabi and soya sauce, men… blah blah blah. But whatever little sense my sabbatical has knocked in my bird brain is this – Be what everyone has been, be what no one has. However, you can only be free if you let yourself be!
On a totally different note, welcome home honey!