14 August, 2011

Oh, Is 15 August Independence Day or the other one.. kya naam hai.. Republicans Day?


The following are my opinions alone and I'm no expert of any sort,  feel free to disagree but don't expect me to feel any differently unless you have indisputable proof otherwise.

Here I sit on the eve of my country’s 65th (?) Independence Day, preparing for a flag-hoisting and my sister’s book release and all I can think of is how cheap Airtel can get for charging for texts tomorrow.

Angrezon se toh aazaadi mil gayi par in cheapskates’ ke ab bhi ghulam hain.

Anyway, I was wondering what we have so much to celebrate and be proud about. Ok fine, chalo, granted that after ghor parishram and all, our freedom fighters dilaofied azaadi for our supposedly great nation, but wasn’t that, like, eons back?

I don’t get the point.

It’s not like we youngsters care about the Lokpal bill or how the Government is doing everything to prevent it from being passed (which itself makes the whole thing smell worse than a week-old-fish).

It’s not like we know who the newly-appointed naval chief is nor does it matter in our lives.

We don’t know what our national flower is or the national bird. Nor do we know that we even have a national animal. What difference does it make to us?

It’s not like we give a damn whether the Mumbai blasts (at least the most recent ones) have been solved. It’s always been easier to just blame Pakistan (mainly the Prez, who gives a blind bat’s backside what Pakistani people are like or how we almost became bhai-behens) and let it all blow over.

It’s not like we like wearing Khadi or eat desi-produce. *Puke*. We don’t mind shelling out three grand for a pair Levi’s or 500 bucks for a ‘bucket’ of chicken; they are obviously better and most certainly not down-market like Indian-made goods. Shresht kurtis, pani puris and golas toh out of question not to say unhygienic.

It not like forwards making fun of our country fellows is not funny. They are so damn funny, we send it to everyone we have ever known or met in the last decade.

It’s not like we are going to live here, in the slums and the dust and the dirt, without any air-conditioning (God forbid!) when we can live as second-rate citizens in the U.S or U.K or anywhere else in first class. So what if India needs the new technology and development that we come up with more than them. Everything is better there. Chicks, food, lifestyle, clothes, papers, schools, roads, offices, shopping… EVERYTHING.

And we’ll cheer Danny Boyle on when he highlights the worst part of our nation on an international platform and takes home Oscars for it. And we’ll also wait till Pookutty wins an Oscar to Google and find out who he is.

It’s not like we’d remember to pick up one piece of waste paper or used Pepsi can from near our feet to save India’s environment, the whole country is full of muck anyway. This one bit is not going to make any difference. We won’t turn off our taps when we brush our teeth, ‘cause we like the continuous flow of water down the drain. Besides, conservation is for tree-huggers.

It’s not like we disagree with NRI’s returning and complaining about forgetting how ‘Last-

Century’ India is, how we *still* don’t have health insurance.

Not like we love Afzal and Zalima and Stephen and Katy the same way we love Karthik and Aanchal. They will always be them.

Not like we care if our girls are beaten up in pubs, raped on trains and killed when they are just fetuses. As long as we can get away with our shortest pair of Lilou shorts and tightest pair of Reebok tees, we don’t care. We will get married gowns and forsake Kancheevarams’ and Benaras’. We’ll choose pencil skirts over half-saris. The first women speaker does not evoke even an iota of interest in us.

It’s not like we love our country, not like we’d do anything for it, not like it matters who calls India and Indians what names. It’s not like we vote to make things better. Not like our being the WC champions with the Indian Flag flying at the forefront (even before the Australian one) matters since they screwed the last game up. Not like we say ‘Saare jahaan se accha, Hindustan hamara’ and mean it. Not like we tear up with bristling pride or even stand every time we hear the Jana Gana Mana.  

We will live-in together, cheat on our spouses, breast-pump our milk for our children and make deep-cut blouses a way of life. Getting drunk and being stupid are awesome. Getting high on weed is even 'kewler'. Emulating Paris Hilton and Rihanna help us find who we are and kitty parties are more important than annual days.

We are proud of our State, its language, our homes, the rich history our family and ancestors have. We are proud of our friends, our dads, our lives and careers. We are proud of our nephew’s first steps, our promotion, our laptops and mobiles. What’s there to be proud of our nation.

So let’s not make a big fuss, pretend to be willing to die for our nation for one day in a year, eat sweets they give us after flag-hoisting in silence and go back to our Vampire Diaries and Grey’s Anatomy with our traps shut tight.

Let’s not fake-love India. She deserves much better. 
And happy Independence day to us.












P.S: I'm the one who sobbed from sheer emotion when the WC 11 stood in a line with their hands on their chests and lipped the national anthem. The one who picks up all the chest-pin-flags off the ground when 15 August celebrations are over. The one who never has voted till now for lack of will to vote for useless people. Life has made me cynical.

But I'll always be the one who does, and forever will, take great pride in being an Indian first and then a human being.

33 comments:

  1. Wonderful write-up, but I'd have to disagree with you in parts.

    If we didn't have the freedom in the first place, both you and I would be doomed to a life of cleaning First Class railway compartments or the toilet of a Gori Maem. So I personally take August 15th every year as a day to account for how much we have changed as a country post 1947 and how much more we can do to make our country a much better place to live. After all India is not called heaven on earth for nothing.

    The lets not Fake-Love India part is perfect end to the write up.

    Darn I had to run into your blog when I have 8 exams to give this month. I`m just addicted to your blog now.

    *scrolls up/down to see if there's a new post*

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  2. Hello Priyanka. :-)

    I was about to write a post on my blog before I landed here through Sadiya's blog. But now I just feel like copy-pasting this post of yours on my blog. You have stated the exact point which I was going to write in my post. Just that you have presented them much better than I could possibly have.

    I really hope this post is read by as many people as possible. And hopefully make them understand the difference between fake-love and the real thing.

    Continuing to read more on your blog...

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  3. great post priyanka. loved the way u have expressed each n every point correctly.

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  4. @ Atrocious Scribblings, please do:) I'm very unrealistic, reality might differ.
    Yes, that was the whole point of the post, actually. Sad that future and current generations don't realise the value of not having to wash toilets. Well said.

    Thank you:)

    :D Lol. OMG please don't screw up any papers, I shall feel terribly guilty. And thanks again. Comments like yours give me the push to keep writing:)

    @ Humanoid, thank you:) And welcome to the space..

    @ Felicity, thanks milady:)

    @ Shobhit, first, welcome!
    Next, thank you so much but please do go ahead and put up your post, I'm sure you'll do it justice:) Main kya ji - Sadiya style:P

    I hope so too, for once without a selfish motive. Because we need to realise the value of freedom and take responsibility for our own country.

    Thank you so very much.

    @ some unspoken words, thank you! And welcome to my space:)

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  5. great post...loved the way you expressed it...

    I always find it strange to see people needing a day to remember their country...it's not about love of country, its about showing people how good I am...and that also on 15th Aug...brit gave us freedom that day to mark 2nd anni of Japan's surrender..what's so gr8 about that?...

    Cheers!
    SUB

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  6. I loved your post and they way u kept the emotions flowing through those words. Its Amazing!!

    I am proud to be an Indian but i havent celebrated Independence day other thn in school

    Keep writing!

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  7. i have almost the same views..:(
    country's been disgusting at times.

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  8. Interesting post...I can see your passion and cynicism come through...

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  9. Okay though i am a Pakistani and but most of the points that you stated were i wish i could have written. This is all the same i was talking about to my dad yesternight. I mean all the Lahore city was crowded with guys and GUYS screaming Pakistan and waving the flag all the way where i thought WHAT THEY POSSIBLY HAVE DONE FOR THEIR COUNTRY TILL NOW?

    Fake love Pakistan for one day just cause its CHUDA AUGUST?! No. This is not something i would do. I love my country and i will roam on the roads screaming my country's name once i would do something productive for it.

    Just like India, we have been hampered in the economic progress too. To the almost same level. We call Indian our bhai-behens and when the time comes to actually show the trust, we both country start blaming each other. I believe i love blogging for this reason cause it lacks all the unnecessary politics that segregate us.

    First stop throwing litter on the roads and then show the world you care about your country. Exactly.

    Loved the post with maybe some contradictions. But still. Wish i could have wrote one.

    Jashn'e Mubarak Hindustan! :))

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  10. It seems like theres no difference between pakistan and india when it comes to celebrating independence day.
    Freedom is something very noble and precious. Every year we vows to protect our country and can sacrifice our lives but we are not ready to give an iota of our money to help some needy people. We are not ready to sacrifice our luxurious lifestyles. Even knowing that thousands of people sleeps hungry dail, still we waste lot of food. And talking of people sleeping hungry, there are thousands and millions who do not have a place, a bed, a shelter to sleep! And yet we are ungratefully complaining.
    Liked your post. For a nation to prosper, people like you are necessary.

    Happy independence dayIt seems like theres no difference between pakistan and india when it comes to celebrating independence day.
    Freedom is something very noble and precious. Every year we vows to protect our country and can sacrifice our lives but we are not ready to give an iota of our money to help some needy people. We are not ready to sacrifice our luxurious lifestyles. Even knowing that thousands of people sleeps hungry dail, still we waste lot of food. And talking of people sleeping hungry, there are thousands and millions who do not have a place, a bed, a shelter to sleep! And yet we are ungratefully complaining.
    Liked your post. For a nation to prosper, people like you are necessary.

    Happy independence day

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  11. Oh yes, its not that we do all this, yet, we all do this.

    A brief wind up of what we've all been up to all these years, it's like a slap. But we are accustomed to such slaps, are we not?

    A nice post.

    Cheers,
    Blasphemous Aesthete

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  12. Hey just one request.In the next elections please go vote and use the 49-O (no vote) which means you don't think of any party capable of your vote.If all the people who don't vote for similar reasons do this then it will be a tight slap over the winning party's face, since it means the masses don't have confidence in their abilities. Which is better than them thinking that half the people are just lazy to vote and don't care.

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  13. Taking mental notes of your "its not like" ,You have a valid point lady.

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  14. Gosh, you you have a wonderful way of putting your feelings in words that express your feelings so perfectly!

    Bravo on this writing!
    And thank you for sharing!

    Margie :)

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  15. Good one :) .. loved the way to penned it here

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  16. Hi Priyanka

    It was really nice to read the 'spot on' views than the same old stories. It has become just another holiday... Hoping to live atleast one day in a 'truly developed' 'saare jahan se acha...' kind of India...

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  17. WHat you have said is so true .. we were doomed the moment we got independance from britisih , we were better off under them .. Seems like the people who gave there life , the freedom fighters and all those Noble and great souls who thought of the country well theier dream seems to have gone to waste now .. wish we can get rid of our leaders ALL OF THEM they are all the same ...

    Bikram's

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  18. seriosly thot provoking, really loadsof hue n cry we make bt with no motives or principl behind, seems lyk we jus get carries away by thngs aroung without givin a profound look ovr d same..nice way u portrayed

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  19. @ ALL, so sorry I took so long to reply, I was caught up with work.
    And welcome to everyone new here:)

    @ SUB, thanks. Exactly my point, we go ga-ga over Independence Day and the rest of the time is spent to pursuing our own selfish interests. Doesn't work that way, does it.

    @ Red Handed, thanks. Neither have I actually. But it's more because I don't believe in the yearly once worship.

    @ ♥ Solitaire ♥, :) yes. True.

    @ Psych Babbler™, the happy-go-lucky, scatter-brained, idealistic me has been forced to don a cynical hat by circumstances. I don't know whether that's a good thing or bad -_-

    @ Blasphemous Aesthete, maybe we have gotten too comfy with the slaps rather than do something about all the slapping about? Thanks:)

    @ Rachana, good point. But I haven't like doing even that after seeing the campaigning the parties do and the promises they make. But maybe the next elections...

    @ Live2cherish, thank you:) I'm glad other people feel the same. Maybe something good will come out of it:)

    @ Margie, thank you Madame. The quest for putting into exact words, my feelings is still ongoing:) But I'm glad I could be even slightly successful..

    @ Vijay Menon, thank you:)

    @ Sunil Padiyar, thank you:) Hopefully we will. Oh scratch that. We, most definitely, will:)

    @ Bikramjit, I like the way you think *evil grin* What about a bomb? Whatsay? :P

    @ vineet, thank you so much:)

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  20. @ KN., we do nothing. Absolutely nothing. But we complain. And celebrate. Hmph.

    So less people think like that, kudos to you.

    SO TRUE. For the bureaucrats, even the mention of terrorism immediately is followed by Pakistan and it is the most unfair-est thought-process of them all and most incorrect as well not to mention shameful to be so quick to judge a nation, that too one as close as Pakistan. I'm so glad that I have discovered tons of Pakistani bloggers and I was surprised to see that you guys are no different from us in a lot of ways that matter. After all we were ONE for centuries. Why don't people mean it when they say bhai-behen, I don't get.

    Please tell me what you don't agree with, maybe I was wrong, but more importantly I want to know:)

    Shukriya Khatoon (erm, is that right? And I'm so sorry if it isn't, I meant Madame)
    Cheers.

    @ Muhammad Israr, :) from your views apparently not.

    Well-said. We are not willing to sacrifice anything ourselves but expect so much out of everyone else especially our country.

    Thank you so much:) And you honor me with your words.

    Thank you! And belated wishes for Pakistan:)

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  21. yess totally second that .. thats why i had request the terrorists to not kill innocent people but the criminals who are leading us :)

    Bikram's

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  22. Interesting post. I agree with a few points.. not all.
    There are people who do their bit(and a very large bit that too) for the country.. and just bcoz others don't do it doesn't mean they shouldn't get their fair share of recognition. And wearing short skirts or opting for western clothing is not really connected with Independence Day na? I mean its more of a personal choice… doesn't mean that we are forsaking traditions…

    Most Indians do have a 'i dont give a damn attitude' towards situations that don't concern them or affect them directly... which is the main cause for our current (pathetic) state.

    Over-all, thought provoking post! :)

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  23. yess totally second that .. thats why i had request the terrorists to not kill innocent people but the criminals who are leading us :)

    Bikram's

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  24. Hi Priyanka

    It was really nice to read the 'spot on' views than the same old stories. It has become just another holiday... Hoping to live atleast one day in a 'truly developed' 'saare jahan se acha...' kind of India...

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  25. @ Atrocious Scribblings, please do:) I'm very unrealistic, reality might differ.
    Yes, that was the whole point of the post, actually. Sad that future and current generations don't realise the value of not having to wash toilets. Well said.

    Thank you:)

    :D Lol. OMG please don't screw up any papers, I shall feel terribly guilty. And thanks again. Comments like yours give me the push to keep writing:)

    @ Humanoid, thank you:) And welcome to the space..

    @ Felicity, thanks milady:)

    @ Shobhit, first, welcome!
    Next, thank you so much but please do go ahead and put up your post, I'm sure you'll do it justice:) Main kya ji - Sadiya style:P

    I hope so too, for once without a selfish motive. Because we need to realise the value of freedom and take responsibility for our own country.

    Thank you so very much.

    @ some unspoken words, thank you! And welcome to my space:)

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  26. Nice post, P.. yup, u got the sentiment bang on here.. can so relate to u.

    Hey ur sis' book release, u say? Whats her name n whats the book?

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  27. @ Humanoid, thanks:)

    @ Raj, thanks and yes, her name's Sonu and the book's name is Rainbow Dreams:)

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  28. @ Chandana, that's the point, the whole effectiveness of those who are doing their share is being trashed by the ones who aren't.

    And none of this is connected to Independence Day, just that it all adds upto deteriorating quality of future generations.

    Opting for Western clothing is good, if done in a way that is fashionable and if it suits you AND if it's situation appropriate. But it's pushing our luck if we walk around in a mini-skirt at 11 in the night in a kaali galli (which most of India's cities have all over), JUST because we think we are modern. And also adopting fashion ONLY because it's the current trend is bull because most people look like fools in ramp clothes which are NOT suited for the streets.

    The kind of clothes you come up with in your posts are trendy, chic and very current yet have a desi tinge and are not provocative, vulgar or ill-suited. That's what I'm talking about, that's how western clothing should be adopted.

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  29. @ Humanoid, thanks:)

    @ Raj, thanks and yes, her name's Sonu and the book's name is Rainbow Dreams:)

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