Sunday, August 15, 2010
Happy Independence Day
jab shahidon ki doli uthe dhoom se
desh waalon tum aansuu bahaanaa nahin
par manaao jab aazaad bhaarat kaa din
us ghadi tum hamen bhul jaanaa nahin
Heard this on the radio last evening... it reminded me of why I am proud to be an Indian... of the real reason in celebrating Independence day!
Flag hoisting, singing the national anthem and the march past in crisp white uniforms were enough to draw me to the independence day celebrations when I was in school... off late though... something was missing.
I have been in the States, away from India for a decade now... some of the fervor did wane down just be the fact that I was in another country... not my motherland.
I have been out of school for a while now... some of the fervor waned when crisp white uniforms didn't appeal to me as much any more.
I have been seeing some random bollywood star be the 'grand marshall' of the independence day celebrations in the current indian community... that and watching the parade have more desi businessmen in their fancy (?) cars waving at people than the actual jhaanki's at the parade haven't helped either. It'll be safe to say my enthusiasm for celebrating the independence day was being diminished by these superficial factors.
When I heard these lines on the radio last evening, it was like something that was buried deep inside was suddenly uncovered. Independence day... is a celebration of free India... but it is equally a celebration of all our freedom fighters who did their bit in pushing for the independence of India. Some more popular than the others, but equally brave nonetheless. Just imagining being that passionate for a cause, being that driven by a motive... I am filled with a sense of respect and pride... pride that I belong to the nation of such patriots.
I was reading 'A thousand splendid suns' some time back.... the essence of the book still lingers in my mind. At times I still wonder what it feels like to live in a state of constant fear... not knowing if your loved ones will return home at night... not knowing if you'll see the light of the day tomorrow.... of having your life at the mercy of others. Thanks to our freedom fighters we'll never have to deal with that. In the colonial India, to have the vision of seeing the bigger picture... and dedicating your life in pursuit of that goal was either sheer genius or sheer madness.... both of which we should be thankful for; for today we are a free country.
This independence day, I am filled with pride... and more importantly I understand what I am proud of.. I am not celebrating just because others are... just because it is unpatriotic not to.... I am celebrating in remembrance of our freedom fighters. May we all do our bit in propelling India in the forward direction... so our great grandkids also get a chance to feel this pride for their forefathers... the inspiration to give to the country for no other reason than that we are doing this for our motherland!