Monday, August 9, 2010

"Indi-end, it doesn't even matter"

Ah, another year gone by, which makes it, what, 64?
Wow! That makes us the youngest, largest, most ‘shining’ democracy ever! We’ve achieved the impossible and proved the world wrong time and again. Emerging unscathed from almost two centuries’ worth of colonial rule, giving the power in the hands of the common man and well on our way to taking over the world, we’ve really done quite a lot! Happy Independence Day.

But wait a minute; do you really feel the freedom in the air? Do you really feel we are living the glorious life we were promised at the stroke of midnight, when the world was sleeping and our country awoke to life and freedom? Honestly, I don’t.

All I can see are the mangled remains of two things that were handed down to us by our freedom-fighting forefathers. Or rather, the only two things we chose to inherit from them- One, the English language, which we’ve deep fried and masala-garnished to turn into our own hilarious version-‘Hinglish’. Kudos! It has been no mean feat, really. Burying the mother of all civilized languages, Sanskrit under a pile of toxic colloquial garbage really is no joke.

Inheritance Number Two is a Mantra.
It’s been handed down from the ancient Aryans and Dravidians who fought with each other for land and water, the Mughals who let foreigners rip the ‘Golden Bird’ to pieces and then the first citizens of new India who reclined in their homes all day, tired out from winning that war for freedom. It’s a Mantra they’ve all used, and to great effect at that. It’s been coined here, copyrighted here, and will continue to stay here.

Chant with me- “Indi-end, it doesn’t even matter.”
Impressive, isn’t it? Yes, it does catch on. Just watch.

There’s a flood in the east. There’s a famine in the south. All the money sanctioned has been eaten up on the way. Helicopters are dropping obituary forms. It doesn’t matter.

The elections are coming. There are two choices on the ballot- the unscrupulous and the shameless. Who will you vote for? It doesn’t matter.

Kashmir is under curfew. There are riots in Gujarat. Mumbai is trembling with bomb blasts Hundreds killed, thousands injured. Multi-billion dollar scams are rocking every chair and seat of power in the country. Yes, I saw the news. It doesn’t matter.

Our elected members to the Parliament step on flooring made solid with the files of criminal cases against them. Political goons make a mockery of democracy and secularism by beating up men, women and children on the pretext of language, religion, height, weight, blood group and other very valid reasons. Sports Committees are gobbling up more calories than our players can burn out. The Indian Army survives on adulterated, expired food and stands on the borders to protect our lives. The media enthusiastically plays tennis, on the table and in the lawn, day and night, to and fro, back and forth, just as long as we sit still and watch the show. After all, Indi-end, it doesn’t even matter.

It’s astonishing how this one Mantra has always solved and will continue to solve any problem, any disaster and any calamity we face. Move over ‘shining’ and ‘flying high’, for this Independence Day, we shall celebrate some new adjectives for our beloved motherland. Take your pick- India ‘sleeping’, India ‘wait a minute’ and India ‘we’ll do it tomorrow’. It’s a good deal, is it not?

We are not a completely useless lot, you know.
We’re not complete fools, or even half-baked idiots.
I say, we’re a little more than that. We’re a lot more than that.

I know that after I finish writing this piece, I will probably roll over on my back and go to sleep like a street dog.
I know that after reading this, you will impulsively click on another internet window or turn to another page and your eyes will light up reading some other fancy words.
I know that tomorrow, people will continue to die of hunger, disease, blasts, terrorism, religion or just because they have nothing better to do.
It’s not going to stop in one day. In fact, it might not even stop one day.
But that’s not the answer, is it?

You see, there’s this thing inside a human heart that keeps it beating.
It’s called hope.
There’s this warmth in our palms every time we reach out to touch.
It’s called faith.
There’s this thing playing in our mind every time we close our eyes.
It’s called a dream. And maybe that’s why we love to sleep so much.

Yes, we do live our own sweet lives in our own diabetic worlds. And we do chant that Mantra every now and then so we can turn our back to situations without guilt.
But how long can we survive on the nutrition of self-blame and vitamins of sympathy?

It’s been ‘okay’ so far, living with Indi-end, it doesn’t even matter.

No more now. Enough.

I’m not telling you to go charging on to the streets with a tricolor or shouting out slogans.
No, that’s an adrenalin rush. It will stop when you run the length of your street and start panting, or when you trip, fall, bruise and cut your fair and lovely skin.

I’m not telling you to leave your perfect worlds and go join the millions of homeless, starving helpless. No, that’s not the solution. You’re of no help to another if you cut off your own limbs.

I’m just telling you to wake up. By all means, dream every night, it’s a healthy habit. But please oh please, wake up in time to see that every morning brings with it a chance to make that dream come true.
Give it a shot. Give it your all. Or at least die trying.

Our world is much smaller than it seems. We’re all much closer than you think. We’re a lot more dependent on this connection than you would believe. Deep down inside, we’re animals of the same breed- sharing the same source, same destination and the same underlying humanity. That’s why, every little bit matters. If not yet today, tomorrow for sure.

Make your schedule a little different this time.
Don’t let it be just another Public Holiday or a disappointing Dry Day.

Make every less minute you sleep and every extra minute you work count.
Find something, find someone and find someplace which really matters to you. Let every oozing drop of sweat, tear and blood mean something. Look around you and realize that life is meant to be lived well. And that your life is a life lived well only if it can help others to, long after you’re gone.

The day you look into the mirror and realize that ‘my’ life means a lot more than just ‘my life’, the clouds will start to clear up.
The day you stop asking others for their surname, hometown, mother tongue and religion, your own identity will come to surface.
The day you find that something you’d willingly die for, life will suddenly seem worth it.

And I promise you, that day we shall certainly have our freedom, our Independence Day.
Because, believe me, Indi-end, it all matters.
Every little bit.

Jai Hind.

     -Avinash Agarwal
 (This post has been entered for the BlogAdda 
'Mera Bharat Mahaan' Contest)


  1. Ah, well, all the best for the contest. You successfully have ignited my mind, at least, to write a post on it! :P

  2. Hahah! Thank you :)I'm glad...and all the very best to you too :)

  3. What an impassioned plea! I was very moved as I'm sure a lot of your readers will be. Cheers to Indi-new beginning.
    And good luck with the competition.

  4. Thank you so much, Ma'am :) Wish you the same...

  5. When you say "Indi-end it doesn't even matter", you bring out satire and intense sarcasm with a pun - now that's a rare literary device. This post is a literally beauty. Keep writing like this!

  6. Thanks a lot Tanay :)
    As always, very kind of you :)

    Good luck to you too :)

  7. yes it matters, each and everyone of us.

  8. Wonderful post ! Good luck for the competition....!

  9. Thanks for the comment Avi. By the way, your post was an awesome read.

  10. Thanks Jaky :) m glad you like it!

  11. "The day you look into the mirror and realize that ‘my’ life means a lot more than just ‘my life’, the clouds will start to clear up.
    The day you stop asking others for their surname, hometown, mother tongue and religion, your own identity will come to surface.
    The day you find that something you’d willingly die for, life will suddenly seem worth it."

    Avi these are Great thoughts,well put!

  12. CMON!! Now thts what an inspirational speech is sposd to sound lik!
    Words wil nvr matr if thy r usd to simply engage the intellect! Wat yu hav don is taken involvd d lay man in ur conversation first pointin out d obvious n criticisin it (like he jus loves to do) thn showin him tht ur d same as him (mr lover of d lazy days) n thn very veryyy smartly strung it all 2gethr with enthusiastic spurts of inspiration (n al d while making him laugh at his own silly face)!
    kudos love i think this mite evn caus tht pot bellied moustache curling punch drunk police man in a tiny littl station down Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sarani road to want to stand up to the grace of the sand he was born in..salute'!!!

  13. Oh come on Vasudha! Don't embarrass me now :P
    I'm glad you like it so much :)
    And Thanks for the VERY lavish praise :)

  14. Indi-end, it doesn’t even matter
    Indi-end, it all matters

    Loved your punchlines.

    And agree with you when you say "We survive on on hope, faith and dreams".

    A passionate diatribe that drives home the point.

    Best of luck for the contest Avinash.

  15. Intensely profound and moving. Keep it up Avi' :)

  16. Excellent piece... I loved the flow of it.. going from sarcasm to inspiration...

  17. Nicely written, when your time permits, please do read my blog and this post in particular:

  18. Sure, just doing that right now :)