The Independence Day celebrations brought me out of the blogging hibernation. The days of yore when we had crowded living rooms for a Chitrahaar on Wednesdays came out vividly. The patriotic songs which would inevitably have the one from Upkaar were a hit though it was predictable. The Vividh Bharathi's competition with the regular radio channel in capturing the listener's ear had a predetermined winner in the Vividh Bharathi winning hands down on both Kannada as well as Hindi songs. After all Desh ki dharthi sona ugle ugle heere mothi was the tune of the day.
Tricolours fluttered atop Government buildings. Schools and colleges hoisted flags and distributed sweets amongst the students. It was only after the heroic legal battle of Naveen Jindal that homes, autos, buses were decorated with national flags. Belonging to a post independent era did not diminish the fervour. Recently I received an email which is purportedly being circulated as that of Dr Kalam's. It called upon us to look at the achievements of this young nation and contribute to mitigate the ills of the nation rather than wistfully hold a microscope on such ills. This also inspired me to rededicate myself. The faint sounds turned into a very audible and sweet Jhanda Ooncha rahe hamara.
A couple of weeks ago an incident took place which caused anguish. A young lady boss was calling upon another young man who was her subordinate to build a strong career. The young man unabashedly spoke of his preference for matrimony rather than career. The lady whose own marriage had been fixed then delivered a shocker by asking " What would your dowry now be?" The young man's friend replied " Rupees Fifty Lakhs". Then she told that if he built his career before embracing matrimony then he could "command" a dowry of Rupees Five crores. Apparently, the hopes on both the young persons to wean themselves away from this ill were dashed. The young man then told me that he would prefer the lady's words to mine as she at least understood the ground realities. Could the young rededicate themselves not to be purchased as commodities?
A few days later I read a piece which announced the setting up of a male brothel by the lawmaker of another country. I was surprised that as none of our overzealous patriots challenged the originality of his idea or stake claim to the origin of the same to our motherland. What difference remains between a dowry and the fee at a male brothel is the probability of being faithful. Should one not dissociate himself and herself from such anti social activities? The song hey mere watan ke logon zara aankh me bar lo paani - if not as a tribute to the great warriors at least in shame and guilt.
The ill is one among many but as Dr Kalam's mail read we should focus on the achievements and try to correct these aberrations. Let us sing the song of Hum Hindustani and proceed to rededicate ourselves towards new vistas while undoing the ills so that it would make India as sweet as the motherland described by the Kabuliwallah in the immortal song Hey mere pyaare watan Hey mere bichde chaman tuj pe main kurbaan.