Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Proud to be an Indian

Note 1: "Ab bhi jiska khoon naa khaula, khoon nahi wo paani hai; jo desh ke kaam naa aaye, wo bekaar jawaani hai"

Note 2: Happy Republic Day.

Proud to be an Indian

For those of you who didn't spot it, I'll spell it out. The sentence above, it lacks a punctuation mark at the end. 'Proud to be an Indian.' would mean that I am proud to be an Indian. 'Proud to be an Indian!' would mean that I am excited in being proud to be an Indian. 'Proud to be an Indian?' would be a question to people reading it (or, to myself) whether they are (or, I am) really proud to be an Indian. Honestly, I don't know, and hence, no use of a punctuation mark.

There is a disease rampant in India. That disease is called talk-big-ideals-and-philosophies-on-independence-day-and-republic-day-and-don't-give-a-fuck-any-other-day. No problem with that though, freedom of expression, right? Also, the fact that I am writing this on Republic Day would mean that I have this disease too (mild, maybe?). But then, freedom of expression, right?

Having said that, I will not rant about onions being dearer than petrol, or how illiteracy and corruption is destroying this country inside out, or how a common man has to fight each and every day of his life in this country to make ends meet, and then conclude 'kuch nahi ho sakta'. Nope. Not today. Nor will I brag about the rich culture, heritage and diversity we have in our country, nor how A. R. Rahman has taken India on to a global arena, nor how this country has ushered into the new millennium with a bang and might be on the road to become a super-power, nor how each ton that Sachin Tendulkar produces fills the heart of each Indian with patriotism, nor how Saina Nehwal became world No. 1 and made our country proud, nor how things are really changing and that there is hope for each of us, and then conclude how lucky I am to be born in this country and go 'Jai Hind!'. Nope. Not today.

As an extremely common man of this country, I would, though, like to mention one single observation, which, personally, triggers a thought-process in me about me and my Indian-ness every time it happens.

Ever been to watch a movie at a theater/multiplex, after spending a couple of hundred bucks, with a tub of cheese-popcorn? No sooner have you taken your comfortable seat than the message would flash - "Please rise for the National Anthem". Now, whether this practice of playing the National Anthem before the movie starts is right or wrong is a very different debate altogether. Let me not argue that. I accept that National Anthem be played right before you want to be entertained and your heart be filled with patriotism. BUT, do it right! I don't deny that the video is brilliantly made and is very compelling, and features some of the greatest artists India has ever produced (video embedded with this post). BUT, my concept of "National Anthem" is different. I want to be able to sing along, and I want to be able to sing it out loud, with my head held high, alongwith everyone else present there, and be proud. Not only will you find this rendition of the National Anthem to be totally un-sing-along-able, you will find no-one else present there humming the anthem with you! What. A. Shame. And to add insult to injury, Asha Bhosle adds a fourth 'jaya he' to the second last line of the anthem! And to everyone's disgrace, while the government mandates that the rendition of the National Anthem should be 52 seconds long, this video goes on for approximately 120 seconds! Hadd.

As a common man, may I ask just one thing. That next time you are some place, any place, and the National Anthem plays, please sing along, or at least try. That will make you proud, and make me proud.

Proud to be an Indian...

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


Thud. Whoosh. Sprinkle, sprinkle, sprinkle. Everyday. Every freakin' day. This gardener would turn on the tap, and I would go round and round and round, and sprinkle and sprinkle and sprinkle. You know, when I was young, I was happy, happy happy, every freakin' day. And then, I got bored of being happy happy, and then it was me, just me, sitting here, doing my routine job, and well, being bored.

Today is different. I don't know why. You know, there is something about today. It's bright, it's sunny, and there is lush green grass all around me. And, I know that the lush green grass would not have been there if it was not for me! Yeah! I should have been proud all this time. I don't know why, but I kind-of feel over-whelmed today. And, I am smiling!

You know, a thought struck me today. The water, the water that I sprinkle all around, they are so joyous. They have always been. Every single day. Without exception. They would gleefully fly through the air into the grass, and make it green, lush, and fresh! And then I got thinking, what made them so happy? Maybe, just maybe, it was their lack of memory. They would travel all over the world, in clouds, in rains, in bottles, in drains, what not! But these, the ones right here, they are here from God-knows-where, but now they are here, all fresh and sparkling, and, happy. Probably because they don't remember what they have gone through. But they know they are here right now, and that now is awesome, and that makes them happy. Ha, but they wouldn't remember this later. What's the point you ask? At least they are happy now. :)

I have had a long life. Yes, I was young and happy once. Every day was a joy. Now all there is are memories. Good and bad. Sometimes, I feel, it would be so nice if the bad memories went away, just like that. Sometimes I wish I don't remember anything at all. Then, I think, maybe that's what makes me me, thats what makes me unique. Maybe thats the way it was meant to be.

I think I know why I feel this way today. This girl, standing there amidst the crowd that never acknowledges me, she has been looking at me. And she is smiling :) Yeah, for the past half-an-hour, she has just been standing there, and has been looking at me. And she smiles when she feels that occasional spray on her face. She is enjoying it! Haha, let me play with her! It feels awesome. Yeah. You know, I can see the wonder on her face when she gets to see that occasional rainbow in the spray of the water. Awesome! Yeah, today is different. This girl made it different for me. Ah, a memory to cherish this shall be...

...there's such a lot of world to see.