Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Its just there...

Yet again, our colony celebrated Independence Day- a senior, respected resident was invited to hoist the National Flag- after which, he spoke at length abt India, Independence, reminisced abt days of yore, lamented abt today’s generation…how children today did not know the significance of Independence-Freedom struggle- all they knew was it was ‘mithaai day” and all this while there were just a handful of gents and ladies- and many kindergarten kids running around with paper flags- chocolates cackling away- blissfully ignoring meek ‘shhhhs’ thrown at them by some of the irritated elders.

I pinned the little paper flag on my dress with a tinge of pride- I know not how to define patriotism- I just know I feel ‘something’ for my country- the land where I was born- I grew up mostly outside India- but now again for the past 17yrs, I’ve been on this soil…

Being concerned, worried about all the violence /corruption happening in my country does not stop me from feeling affection for my country- it is involuntary- reflex- it is just there- and has been there ever since I can remember- it’s a part of my feelings, thoughts and emotions which hitherto I’ve taken for granted as part of the person that I’m.

What have I done for my country- I can make no claims-
Poverty depresses me, Natural calamities scare me, Filth and squalor disgusts me, Corruption fills me with repugnance and frustration, Terrorism angers me- and yet I do nothing- (except may be blog? And what does that count for?)

I just pin a paper flag and sign The National Anthem with gusto…and I bring up two sons…

I remember while I was in the Middle East during my school going days- these National functions meant so much- just running into Indians in the souk, lagoon, airport- evoked a feeling of belonging irrespective of South- North- Madrasis- the fragmentation just dissolved in such scenario.
Coming out of the theatre after seeing the movie “Gandhi”, many years ago- one could sense that unified sense of belonging as the Indian audience emerged into the world outside that day…

Saw “Rang De Basanti” on T.V the other day- and I could relate to the fervor and emotion inspired by that movie-
I’ve not seen, experienced India before Independence- was the air different? Did the water taste different- I wouldn’t know- All I know abt that time was from books, movies, articles, poems- songs- and I’ve thought about the fervor, the passion that Gandhiji, Chandrasekhar Azad, Bhagat Singh- and the countless others- nameless and faceless- I’ve wondered about the love, the dedication, the devotion- that drove them to unimaginable limits of endurance- and sometimes there is a choke in my throat-

Today’s children-are even less aware- I realize I want to share with my children the significance- the importance of what those Leaders have achieved- but I am not often able to find words that would sound convincing, inspiring- if watching such movies do succeed in evoking some allegiance towards one’s country- it’s a good thing I feel- my son came home y’day and said how he and his friends had talked abt the movie- the leaders with awe… and that they felt like doing something for the country-

What is the necessity? I just feel it should be so- to feel responsible towards one’s country- its people- to feel that one owes something to the Nation- and if every child grows up with this notion- this feeling of allegiance- it would be better for everyone in the long run.

While I believe that geographical barriers need not dictate allegiance/affection for Humanity or for Creation at large- what better place than to begin but home?

It is a feeling that I cannot help feeling- that extra bit of warmth, thrill of belonging- for the soil that is my homeland- Its just there- I cannot deny it- I cannot pretend its not there-
My heart beats for my country…

8 comments:

Atul Sabnis said...

nice thought ardra, the biggest mistake that the generations before (and the current 'mature' generation) makes is that it looks at patriotism and nationality as glorifying the past. nothing wrong with a the 'coca-cola' generation that is forced to look so back in time - that it cant relate to - nationalism and patriotism is abt a country in the here and now. the generations 'that doesnt oil its hair' is tired of getting pulled back - when the entire world seems to be going ahead...ah nearly a post...i forget - this is a comment... :) Happy Independence Day (Belated) I am with you all through.

Grafxgurl said...

i love India. but its such a tantrum throwing melodramatic child sometimes!

Hip Grandma said...

yes our heart beats for our country and the one service we can do is to bring up our children with human values.there can be no better service.

V N said...

Just overheard a child about 6 years old asking his parent who the 'grandpa' in the picture was, pointing at MK Gandhi. Very thoughtful post!

:)

Maltova said...

Ah, Oppol wrapped in a tri colored patriotic mode spilling that feeling onto its readers.

I'd like to shout out Vande Mataram real loud jus to give some life to that pat feeling. What to do? It won't budge.

Very nice blog.... but how come i'm reading it only now?

MotoRama said...

"You can take an Indian out of India but never India out of an Indian!".

Good one there Ardra!

paddy said...

well no matter what ever is going on in the country it is us who have made this country like this and it is us who have to change ourselves to change the way the country looks ...

Ardra said...

Thank you atul, grfxgrl,hipgranma,velu, pradzie, rama, paddy- for all your thoughtful comments-
warmly
ardra