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Monday, August 16, 2010

Independence Day

August 14,2010
I needed to post few envelopes. In today’s world of e-mail and telephones, the post office has ceased to exist in our lives. When confronted with a situation wherein one needs to visit one, you have to ransack your memory to recall where you had last seen the nearest post office.

Anyways, there I was, in the local shopping complex near my home, scanning buildings – I knew there was a post office somewhere.. My line of sight was directed upwards, and the onus was on the people around to avoid banging into me.
My search was interrupted by a gush of wind caused by someone brushing past me at cyclonic speed. I caught a glimpse of the guy: it was one of my closest friends, walking in a world of his own. He turned as I involuntarily gasped out his name, smiled and joined me.
“Happy Independence Day in advance”, he wished.
I was a bit taken aback, didn’t wish him back. Instead, I asked him, “Are you wearing orange because of that?”, pointing to the saffron garment he had on him.
”No no”, he negated me, going on to explain that it was a mere coincidence.
Rewind two years back.

I was having lunch with a senior of mine from school. He mentioned how his wife went every year to a popular market place to buy tricoloured bangles every year on 15th August… With extreme difficulty, I could manage to refrain from the temptation to ask why a set cannot be re-worn every year… or what would one do with more than one set of exactly similar bangles..

Somehow, I cannot relate to greeting each other for a happy independence day… what are you exactly wishing for? A good day? It sounds like wishing someone a great year ahead on New Year’s Eve.

15th August, is a national holiday. And I was feeling bad to have not got a holiday as it was a Sunday this year. A series of greetings had started flowing in right from early morning. I answered each, and asked them the significance of this day to their individual selves, and forwarded the query to anyone I could think of.

“Power cut whole of last night. Care a damn for independence day” was the first reply.

“I am travelling for work,” was the second, complete with the query,”Any better way to celebrate Independence day?”

“Independence, in a corrupt nation?” jeered the third.

“Independence Day to me is remembering thousands of people with great sense of pride in their achievements. They laid down their very lives so that we could have independence of making our choices in life… such sacrifices are a source of inspiration”: Yes, this is something I would relate to.

“Watch out for my blog on this topic” – are you on an advertisement spree? I mean, you have all rights to write, but why create hype?

“Responsibility”: - One word. Crisp and clear.

“Let us try within our might to eradicate poverty and spread education in our country. Not just raise the flag and sing the National Anthem”: Yes, I am willing to go beyond, if required.

“Hope the day will come one day when there will be no killing, no unemployment, no illiteracy.. poverty could be fully eradicated and smile can be given to every Indian”…

"Mixed reactions...this day means a lot, but I am also said" and someone avoided the question totally,"Too much to share in a sms"..
How was this Sunday different? A day you thank your lucky stars that you were born in an independent nation... where people, especially women, can do whatever they want, have freedom of speech... thank those on the border who fight for us...

3 comments:

the snake said...

i am too cynical maybe..but i feel the seeds that were planted in 1947, are yet to take root...we are still fragmented as a nation, the idea of "India" still nebulous...

shooting star said...

responsibility - thats what i liked the most, yes at the end of the day its all about responsibility, not just in the context of freedom of a country but freedom in any context, even personal....freedom means responsibility, to yourself , to your family and to your nation.....

Anupama K. Mazumder said...

@Snake
Yep. We are too busy with ourselves, our community... and by the time we start thinking as India as a whole, our zeal fades out..

@Star
Spot on...