When I was a kid,I used to watch the only television channel then Doordarshan which on 15th August had the following line-up of programs.
- Patriotic Manoj Kumar Songs
- Prime-Minister’s unfathomable speeches by Prime-Minister of India from Red-Fort
- A Regular movie ‘Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi’ which Doordarshan used to telecast on following days Aug15,Oct 2,Jan 26 and Jan 30
Me being the kid who grew up in the 90’s the above set of programs were enough to instill patriotic feelings atleast for the day.The last episode of patriotism that came in my life was in 1997 the 50th year of Independence when I saw the “Independence 50” sticker in cars,handpulled ricksaws,trams ,metro trains (I was in Calcutta that time),autos and many places wherever stickers can be pasted.The song that captivated the nation during that time was ‘Vande Matram’ by A.R.Rahman.I don’t know how much impact it made on other people but as a teenager I was deeply impacted by that song.
Unfortunately that was the last episode of deep patriotism in me as I was introduced to the concepts of ‘Internationlism’ and about various cultures across the world by my History teacher.Before that the only cultured nation I knew was INDIA.The definition of CULTURED was very clear and simple in mind then, it’s rather more vague and in a state of chaos right now !!
After I moved to college and got a job in an MNC , the concepts of patriotism faded into my childhood memories.Today I feel the concepts of NATIONALISM and PATRIOTISM are just phases in the human history .I believe the international borders will fade away to give give way for a new world order called HUMANITY, the seeds of which are already taking shoots in the form of Human Rights , Globalism , Internet etc etc
Today Morning I woke up and as usual I started checking my tweet stream , blog statistics , mail and some technology news.After a while I came out for getting some fresh air and I saw something infront of my appartments which reminded me of my childhood activities which I did every Aug 15 and sometimes on Aug 26 as well.
After watching the flag-hoisting at school by our school principal and having sweets and ladoos distributed by the school prefects,I used to make paper-flags and hoist it on my table.The quality of flags underwent the following enhancements each year.
- Hand-made Tricolor in paper with one side blank,hoisted on a single-wick of broomstick
- Hand-made Tricolor in paper with color on both the sides
- Hand-made Tricolor in paper with color on both sides and the pole of the flag(broomstick) painted in white
- Hand-made Tricolor in paper with color on both sides and the pole pasted with white paper and an intricate mechanism for hoisting it.(pull the rope at the bottom and the flag goes up)
I never made a flag with cloth because I grew up by then and patriotism had faded away.On one Independence day , I even made a British flag and burnt it infront of the Indian flag hoisted on my table.(this was probably the flag version of the silly GI-JOE toy games I used to play)
Today after so many years,I saw similar thing by the kids from our appartments was really nice to see.A paper flag hoisted on a giant pole by a group of small kids from age 3 to 7.I didn’t have the usual 8 megapixel DIGICAM nor my 2 megapixel camera mobile to capture the snap.I have to borrow my dad’s mobile and take the snap.
Really nice to see such Hand-Made Paper Flags even today.
It should be very modest in accepting the fact that I am not a frequent blogger.Sometimes a complacent blogger too , who doesn’t blogs about the things that really matter , like I wanted to write about DASAVATHARAM movie review(Five Hour movie cramped into Three hour), Hancock Movie Review(the most unexpected flop from Will Smith),Yelagiri trip (where I discovered that my Inspirational Boss loves Volleyball very much, probably more than his Violin ….) and recently on Abhinav Bhindra (actually didn’t want to say , “India needs sportsmen like Abhinav” but wanted to say “India needs sports culture”.This was the same statement I made in my 12th standard on Extempore competition about Karnam Malleshwari and Kalpana Chawla,who are being worshipped as quality products of Indian beareucratic system that produces atleast one Medal in every olympics.After reading this beautifully written blog,I felt one needs to have had a proper English teacher in your high school , in order to express one’s thoughts with inexplicable expressiveness).
Anyway,I blog to vent out my random thoughts that occur to me.Today I wanted to blog something related Independence.I have , in the initial days of my life , been inquisitive and very disruptive , a kind of Trouble maker…..in precise words Independent.Then started a 16 year plan to restrict my imagination , control my thoughts and learn to live like others and be a “Brick in the Wall”.After a zombie four year course in Engineering , I was a perfect flawless product , just as intended be the Indian Education System.I am not blaming the system here , infact the Indian Education system , encourages self-made personalities and those who are not ready for this , are made a part of the system.I would be happy if that system works …but it’s not.Even after my education was over , I was into another trap which many Indian IT professionals fall prey to……..Onsite Assignment,even if the nature of job sucks.I feel proud of myself that I have somehow taken intial steps towards the real Independence every human being deserves.I am no longer in the RAT RACE to onsite assignment.Most of my friends have already travelled the foreign lands and regulary update the orkut albums with photos taken with wax figures of George Bush, Micheal Jackson, Mahatma Gandhi ….
From the day we are named by our parents we hardly introspect “is this the life you were sent for ?” “Are we free?” “Are we independent?” “Is our imagination free or controlled by the whims of peer pressure?”
I believe Independence is not physical , it’s spiritual.
We got independence from the British , 61 years ago.I think we are still a long way to achieve the real independence.
Remember , We still have to fill the caste column in the school admission forms.We are still having small kids working to win bread for the family instead of getting the basic education.We still feel proud to say my “shoes are imported”.
It would be too futuristic to say the international boundaries will fade away and the whole Earth will be ruled by Google and of course Web 2.0 will be the answer for all the challenges in ruling such a huge planet.For now , I am still proud to be an Indian though not to the extent I used to be during my school days when I used to hoist hand made paper flags on my table on Independence day and think “How lucky I am , that I am born in India”…..now I think “What if I was born in some parallel universe as a female Anopheles Mosquito? “