Indpendence Day

In-dependence day

So its independence day. Again. At the apartment complex.

The security guards create the background synchronised movement. With some loud banging of their boots and arching their vocal chords! Children play in gay abandon. And some stare with surprise at the normally ‘normal’ security guards playing ‘statue’ !

Kurtas rub shoulders with Hawaii shirts. And a ‘i love New York’ t-shirt, has the Tricolour pinned on it. Like the one pinned on every other shirt and saree. There is discussion about the water problem and swine flu. But all of that dies down soon.

The chief guest arrives. The tricolour hoisted and the rose petals fall. And the National anthem is sung. The tricolour continues to struggle to disentangle and catch the breeze !

And of course, a speech. By the immaculately clad chief guest. A speech that broadly rests on Kargil. On India becoming a superpower. Our pride. The army’s brilliance, the economy’s resilience.

There is mention of hunger. Poverty. And such else. A gentle nudge that we all should work towards a greater India. Of course, the sacrifices of ‘our forefathers’ are mentioned.

I sigh, as the speech ends. People shout out ‘Jai Hind’. A kid standing close to me, asks her mother, “Mamma is it ‘Jai Hind‘ or is it ‘Jai Ho‘ ” ! I struggle not to erupt in laughter.

And then, children sing ‘Patriotic songs’ as the lovely lady compering the event says. ‘Patriotic Songs’ gets the emphasis. Many times. Sure thing, that must be specified.

In sometime, i get home. Generally rant, about independence day speeches. About ‘all that empty flowery language and a lack of purpose’ !

And the missus, clearly annoyed, jumps in. ‘So, what would you have talked about if you were giving the speech?”

That catches me by surprise. But i still bravely list out.

Perhaps some stories from everyday lives…. Of teaching children basic manners. The value of money. Water conservation. Closing taps. Treating household help with dignity. Respecting other countries. Other religions. People that are different from us.

Perhaps some stories…. of tolerance and respect for each other. And that means parking cars properly, sorting out garbage, not playing loud music, loudly. Respecting mother Earth…

Independence day is not about a strange alien man or woman who lives somewhere, who will take India and the world to great heights. Its about each one of us. And all of us are dependent on each other…….”

And i notice, she is already walking away. She turns around. And says, ‘Thank God, you didn’t make that speech. People would have moved on before it ended’.

From the other room, she shouts, ‘Now, don’t go put that on your blog’. I think about it. And head here, to post. Heck. Today is independence day !

Happy Independence day people !

Celebrating the tricolour !

One more independence day ! One more occasion to look back with pride, consternation, happiness, sadness, fear, joy. Its been a mixed bag. For a long time now. Perhaps, from day one !

There were scores of people who struggled with a vision to get us out of where we were. And our progress in the recent times, must have had their hearts glad. As we as a nation, rise from the ashes of a bygone era. One part of their hearts, at least. While the other parts mourn the…well, theres a long list there as well.

My camera caught these pictures. And i wondered if we will ever be able to completely break out the shackles and move ahead. Up and away. Move beyond symbolism to solidity. Despite the silly politicians and a sicker fickle mind in the collective mass called ‘us’. Hopefully we will.

Will we be able to ensure every child is educated, and build a stronger future for all. A future where caste, creed and other similar words were words that people look up in the dictionary to find the meaning of. Hopefully we will.

Will we be able to turn corruption on its head ? Consolidate our gains. Cut our losses. Wring out the bad. Ring in the new. Think differently. Take on the world. March with pride. Hopefully we will.

The fluttering of the Indian flag has always had my heart flutter a while. To see it flutter on this blog has given a strange happiness. To hear the tune of the national anthem here, brings a tinge of happy moist to a dry eye and a satisfaction to the heart.

Along with a moistness in the eye is a bizarre feeling in the heart that ‘all is well’ ! The mind refuses to believe all is well. The heart seems to say ‘i know better’ ! As the mind & heart battle it out…Here is Tagore. This used to be a prayer song in school. Now, it is a prayer that escapes my lips every other day !

Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Happy Independence Day ! May the spirit of freedom be with us all !


Now for some trivia !

I saw this temple at Madurai. At first glance you dont notice anything. ( i didnt for so many years)

But then, upon closer look….

Would you know of any other temple where Gandhi is placed alongside the Gods ! That was very interesting !! BTW, there is Nehru on the other side of the gopuram too !

Well whats cooking this independence day for you ? For starters, my mom made independence day dosas some days back!

In tricolour !

Independence day special !