I do not remember much about the dates and occurrences in History after or before this except a few main ones, many of you might curse or give me names for that, but what the heck ? I was a 12 year kid or a little more when my Country wanted me to remember these dates as a part of my School course, which I did then memorize just to make it through the examinations. I don't know how normal or abnormal it was then to be so Ignorant about any history at such an age.But my main interest back then was Sports, cartoons, friends and my moms hand made food.
So then back in Primary school, every Independence Day was a day I would wake up early for school assembly, Sing our National Anthem, and watch our Physical Trainer Shout "Saaawdhaan" (Attention), "Wishraam" (Stand at ease) which of course we all would follow, for if only we decided not to, would mean a thick cane marking a signature on your butt.
Watched the Tri-color unfurl and then ? the best part, Sweets and Snacks and off we go, half day !
Times changed, I became older, came the Secondary school, still hated waking up to get to the morning assembly, polish my white shoes, National anthem, Flag unfurls, get home, watch the Tv for channels all going Tri colored, the Prime minister Addressing the Nation, and no it wasn't out of my Interest, Parents would be watching that like a kid hooked on Tom & jerry.
A couple of Earthquakes, Wars, Crimes & Results later, I was a graduate, got my first Job, 15th August, and it was a public holiday, yet we would be sad, cause it meant a Dry day. No drinks, no Pub, and like any other busy workaholic Indian would have forgotten to stock some Liquor.
Oh and yes how could I forget the millions of messages I must have Sms'ed to my friends my colleagues, those creative messages with sparkling Indian Tri color, the ones with Hindi scripts, creative e greetings. Posting videos of "Maa Tujhe salaam".
That was it "My Country's Independence day", back to Today, this time, the very moment you my friend are breathing, when am a little more saner, I sit back and ask myself, What this day means to me, an Indian national, I have seen some days now outside my country, met people of different origins, I have had n number of conversations with friends discussing corruption, the dam corrupt gutters filled with leaks of my country's politicians, cried losing friends in bomb blasts, cried within, seeing destruction, dis respect for elders.
To you by now am such an Anti-Indian fellow, no ? But my blood still boils when my country is attacked by uncivilized animals with mindless intentions, when innocent blood is shed, I don't care of what the past has been, all controversies surrounding our great politicians, I don't care if Nehru was selfish, I don't care if Gandhi did the right things.
What I do realize today, standing here, is that, what I chose to do next is what will and can make a difference. It is me who can do something if nothing, for my country, in any way possible, all I need to do is promise myself to help make my country become a better place, it can be as small as starting to throw garbage in a place where it belongs, starting from as little as that to something thats beyond my imagination. The choice is totally ours, and no amount of Video posts and e greetings is going to help us all get there. Don't get me wrong, am no sadist, go ahead and celebrate, but am gonna promise to do it with an intention...with some promise...with some respect.
I've made my self a promise, to give a meaning to this definition, a definition which has changed over a period of time with me, from Sweets to Dry days, to being a Solemn Promise to myself. I hope am able to prove myself with a Definitive Change.