Happy Independence Day

Credits: Wikipedia
Tomorrow Today we, the people of India, celebrate our Independence Day. It was 15th August in 1947 when we got free from the clutches of British rule. We are now a 66 year adolescent kid. Old enough to take our own decisions and yet young enough to not commit to those. Old enough to talk magnanimous things and yet young enough to not fathom the outcomes. Old enough to dare to do great things and yet young enough to hold on to things like castes and egos.

I think its time that our collective conscious needs to take a call and either come out as young or as mature. And this call has to happen now. We can no longer hide behind the tag of developing nation. We are more than a billion and we need to take charge now. At least I need to!

As I write this, I realize that I am damn lucky to have born in a free India. Not really the most ideal outcome of the ovarian lottery but I cant complain about where I ended up. I have inherited the quintessential Indian values, culture, norms and yet I have the desire to chase the Great American Dream (no, not move to US of A but chase the tenets of the american dream - opportunity for prosperity and success). There are these two worlds that tear me apart. On one side is my societal performance where I am constantly evaluated for being the obedient son, caring brother, moral citizen and trustworthy friend. Its a life that I live for others around me. And I am not sure if I am comfortable with it. On the other side is what motivates me from within, where I see myself as someone who takes risks, does things that he wants to do, follows those hunches that often end up as wild goose chases. A life that I would have scripted by myself. I am not sure if I have the balls to chase it but in an ideal world, the two would co-exist in harmony.

This dichotomy, is not merely restricted to myself as an individual. Its larger than that. On one hand, I want to be proud of the ability to take breath in free air without any fear of anyone. And on the other, its stifling to be just another unimportant cog in the giant machinery that runs the country. I want to believe that my vote counts but I am not sure it does. Hell, I dont even have great people to vote for. I want to make a difference but I am not too sure where to start from. Come to think of it, after all these years, the Independence Day has reduced to being just another holiday when busy people like me can catch up on all those long overdue errands. For others, it may mean a day to catch up on sleep. For our schools, it means unfurling our Tiranga by the principal. For the TV channels, it means they can re-run movies like Karma, Mother India etc. For News channels, it means special programming, debates etc around sacrifices that can get them most TRPs. For politicians it means yet another opportunity to speak up and get noticed. For me, it is yet another day when I must write something or the other that makes me happy.

Guess this piece is more inspired by my state of mind rather than anything else. But anyways, while trying to talk about the trivialities, we seem to have missed a very very important thing. Its actually a question. The same one that Sahir Ludhyanvi first asked in 1957 (text, vid). Jinhe naaz hai hind par, wo kahan hai?

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