Thursday, 15 August 2013

A Clean Slate - On the National Anthem

On the Independent India's 67th birthday...
(P.S. play this in the background as you read on, it would be a much better experience!)

Scurrying the deep sands of time during the school days : waking up at 6:21 am in the morning and hurrying getting ready for the school, I would reach the bus stand just in time : 6:25 am.

The not so comfortable bus-ride to the school would leave the sleepy me with a searing head-ache. The fragrance of the wonderful flowers of the school garden would hit my nose and the unbounded joy would leave me frolicking with my friends across the playground before the class bells chime. Almost twenty minutes of play would exhaust us, when the bells would chime. Oh, the classes!!!

Then the classes would commence. Oh, wait!!!
I totally forgot about the morning assembly. Being a member of the school Choir Group, I would sing the hymns : "Listen let your heart keep seeking...", and prayers of the other varied religions in a particular order.

Yeah, the National Anthem would be sung after the news reading and the "thought of the day". The shiver that I would then have while singing the anthem, has never ever been forgotten. The stirring music would sting and pinch me and send me in a state of happiness and sadness at the same time. Time - the winged bird, spread its wings and then I remember speaking to my friends :
"Dude!!! It's a holiday! What if it is the Independence Day? I have respect for my nation, why should I go to the flag-hoisting ceremony? It's all in the heart, let me doze back to my dream."

It has been close to three years that I have last sung or heard the National Anthem.
A strange quirk of time shoved me into the Cross Country race and so, after ages did I happen to wake up early in the morning, oh gross, that was 5:00 am.... :O

The sorrow of missing out the top ten rankings of the 5 km race by some 3-4 seconds was still rife, but the 12th position was not that bad I consoled myself. Sleepy and dreamy, I went down the memory lane and I randomly searched for a patriotic song to keep with the patriotic fervour of the day.

Youtube returns the National Anthem and like thousands of pins I was stung and bit : "How did I omit singing for the nation the last three years, when even the Sundays at home seemed wee bit gloomy. Yeah I loved my School more, more so the Anthem I would stand erect and a shiver would run down my spine at the potential of India and the sorry day-to-day happenings that the newspapers would report each day. The whole of the searing head-ache would just vanish and fill the little boy's head with great motives and good endeavors, I never did realize it was all about the Anthem in  the end."

During my stay at Manchester for the intern, once I was asked : "So how is the corruption in India?"
I was shocked, but put up a simple (false?) response of : "It has come down a lot, India is getting better and better still with regards to corruption."
I could not help but think : "So, people do not remember the cultural amalgamation of India, but the attention has shifted to the sorry state of internal affairs?"

There were posts by some of my friends who wished that in the coming year, India becomes a much safer place for women... Oh, the deep deep sorrow of some sickening gory incidences!!!

Then I happened to come across the sand filling scam, wherein the IAS Officer Durga Shakti Nagpal was suspended and this video's saddening truth of the words :
"ह्में इतना भी ना डराओ की हमारा डर ही ख़तम हो जाए |" 
[Do not scare us so much that we stop getting scared!]

Once, I was suggested to strive for Civil Services as a career, but I could not bring myself to such an understanding where the general perception of such a career would be great privileges but some shady descriptions of the same.

So, much for the talking, I was perplexed when after the Cross Country run, the participants were strewing the empty food packets across the ground, even if the waste-bins were nearby. The little things, in my humble deduction is what matters the most. Rome was not built in a day...

Maybe it will take ages to finally see India as a first world nation, and not a third world nation. But each of the Indians should be put in the little effort it takes to make India a better country to live in.
The apathy I had developed for the nation's news in general in the recent past was in terms of stopping the reading newspapers for I could not imagine more gore in my dreams and decided to live by the sweet surroundings of IITG and face the world when the time comes.

No, today I actually repent not having gone to the flag hoisting ceremony, not that it is my duty, but that it infuses the spirit in a person by the cleansing and inspiring words, such that one may derive more courage for the things one stands notwithstanding the consequences. On a similar note, the  Joker of Batman has been immortalized by the way of he thinks. It is the courage to do things which matter, the good things would flow into an untrammeled head on its own.

A Russel Peter's comedy episode mentioned this :
"There is a difference between Terrorists and Indians; Terrorists hate people.
Indians hate ......... Indians...."
The audience actually laughed and it seemed funny how the most welcoming of the nations has been turned to such a gory piece of satire.
Two things have struck a chord in me today :
"The way to increment India, by the littlest of the things; and Helping people - brotherhood"
(Russel Peter is funny, no doubt about that; but the facts just stand out.)

जन-गण-मन अधिनायक जय हे
भारत-भाग्य-विधाता ।
पंजाब सिंध गुजरात मराठा
द्राविड़ उत्कल बंग ।
विंध्य हिमाचल यमुना गंगा,
उच्छल-जलधि-तरंग ।
तव शुभ नामे जागे,
तव शुभ आशिष माँगे,
गाहे तव जय गाथा ।
जन-गण मंगलदायक जय हे,
भारत-भाग्य-विधाता ।
जय हे, जय हे, जय हे,
जय जय जय, जय हे ।।

-Indian National Anthem,
Tagore, Rabindranath