Rooting for Our Land…

August 14, 2009


It’s eve of the our Independance Day and here is my hearty Happy Independance Day wishes for my fellow Indians in India and all over the globe.

We have come a long way from the early days of our new found Independance. Yet the glory of the India that was before the British Rule is what we seek.

Let us make it a reason worth our season here:

To no longer have a soul on our land who does not have enough to eat, wear or live.

To destroy the elements of communal disharmony.

To spread the wealth.

To feel proud of our heritage.

To see good triumph over evil.

To feel the brotherhood.

To believe in ourselves, our fellow Indians and in our country.

To remember the songs of our land.

To root for our nationhood.

To honour our heroes.

To know here is where we come from and it is where we’ll go.

Jai Hind!

PS: For one of the most meaningful patriotic songs ever made in recent times, click here.

Photos courtesy


My parent’s generation were the among the first to experience Free India. Though the rule of the English came to an end, the problems were far from over as we all know. The partition happened. People lost their land, loved ones got seperated, identity crises, the wealthy became poor and the poor became more miserable. Our once filled-to-the-brim coffers rang hollow. Disease was rampant. The whole country was trying to get back to its feet.

My folks were born a few years after India got her freedom. Their early years were hard. Money was just about enough to feed all their brothers and sisters. My dad has 7 siblings and mom 5 – so it is a huge family. After saving whatevere annas (The Indian Penny) that could be spared, my grandfather decided to send my dad to medical school. I had once asked my dad, what made you join the medical field. His answer was put so simply – my dad told me to. He explained back then each child took up a field which could be afforded at that point of time. So dad was packed off to Armed Force Medical College in Pune, Maharastra. The education was free if a student is medically fit to join the armed forces. Unfortunately, my dad was not. Hence he had to pay the full fees which was hard for his parents, but they managed somehow.

It is getting difficult for me to continue. I am so regretful of my ungratefulness. Can hardly see the keyboard. All the hurtful things I said to you, I wish I could take them back and shower you with rose petals instead. I wish we understood you better when you needed it.

Yesterday, I was speaking to my sister and she happened to tell me an old story which broke my heart. The holidays were not announced days in advance when dad was a student. They were told at the last minute. So there was no way they could reserve train tickets. All they could do is take a ticket which allows you to only sit on the train and board whichever one going in the desired direction.  Thats what my dad was going to do too – only the train had already started moving. Desperate to get on it, my dad ran towards it and jumped on the doorway only to see the passengers inside slam the door on his face! It was crowded inside and they did not want more people in it. There he was hanging on to the door of a moving train. Till they stopped at the next station after one hour.

Thinking about it horrifies me. Just so that the money he spent on the ticket won’t go waste, my dad clung to the moving train. I thought of all the times I went – I want this, I want that, This is no good etc. My dad wasn’t one  to utter  “You guys are lucky, if you were in my generation …”, he worked hard to fix our little no-issue worries. I now wonder, where did he get that amazing grace to put up with our trivial issues when he knew we were in the lap of luxury? When he knew how it felt to be uncertain of next day’s meal, he understood our craving for Krackjack which wasn’t there in the store that we visited? When he knew how it felt to have to struggle for every bare necessities in life, he indulged us our excesses?

Life wasn’t easy for any of our folks. Yet they ensured all of us are where we are. We owe it to them not to take our present lives for granted. God bless the “New Free Indians” for bringing us to where we are.