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Maa Tujhe Salaam! - Debarati Chatterjee


15th August came and went. A fleeting memory of me, in a crisp white uniform and shiny white canvas shoes holding the Indian Flag in my hands and leading my school in a march as the school people leader! I still feel the goose bumps on my skin at the moment where I approach the flag post and the chief guest and raise my right hand to salute my National Flag. Oh! Nothing beats that feeling of pride when I stand in attention and sing the National Anthem at the top of my voice (only time I don’t care about who is listening!!)


This year, all I heard about was the rupee falling and the box office record breaking collections for ‘Chennai Express’ and that the Independence Day special movie telecast was ‘Aashiqui2’! I think the last part was just a Facebook joke and it was in fact some patriotic movie, at least, I hope so! Not that it really matters because watching a patriotic film one day is not going to change anything. However, certain practices have been around for so long that they feel like tradition. Excuse the delusion!

Standing at this distance from India, it allows me to put certain things into perspective like how easy and convenient life feels here and yet back home I never had to worry about washing or ironing my clothes or how I enjoy my freedom of daring to ride the tube alone at night and yet I could afford a Chauffeur back home or how pollution free and clean the air is here and yet back home I never had to worry about losing my fingers to frost bites! Touché about the weather! Always! In the end, it trickles down to what you value more in life and sometimes it is difficult to choose.

I typed India in the search bar this morning and in came a flood of articles all elaborating the macro economics of Indian economy as of today and it really felt like I am back in school. But I will not get into that today, not here! On this day, I miss every media channel reminding me of all the great achievements my country men and women have achieved. I miss being reminded of the medal in women boxing or of the group of tribal girls winning international soccer matches playing bare feet or about all the Indians in top executive positions in fortune 500 companies or the about the polio free India or about the many child prodigies, the world class dancers and musicians, or about the many cosmic expeditions. I miss getting a glimpse of the brave soldiers of our country!

I hate reading about the terrible, gut-wrenching news items about women atrocities, about corrupted politicians, about the obvious fallacies around who is considered ‘poor’ or about the half-witted jokes on how silent our politicians are!

Amidst the swamp, there are also those who work towards a better tomorrow and I want to remain hopeful that my next generation will look forward to a trip to my Mother Land.


#1 Nandita 2013-09-02 22:49
Touching :)

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