…as ancient as the mountains and oceans which embrace it; as recent as the latest bomb-blast (that attempts to explode the notion of India as a nation).
…as convenient as a spittoon for cynical outbursts (against the government/population/pollution/corruption/roads/traffic/you get the drift?); as luminescent as Lata Mangeshkar’s “Aye mere pyaare watan” (O my beloved nation).
…as preciously-begotten as our independence and the centuries of sacrifice and struggle that made that magical midnight tryst with destiny possible; as carelessly-frittered as sand through our fingers as we rush, blinkered-blinded, towards self-oriented goals, denying/devaluing/destroying everything else.
…as fragmented as shattered windowpanes (after yet another bout of public-fuelled arson) by divisions of class, caste, religion, language, even food habits; as united as the spontaneous eruption of unanimous joy at any sports-victory (the latest superhero being Abhinav Bindra).
…as frantic-fast as the rush-hour sprint of passengers to catch the local trains; as silted-slow as the bullocks who sit down (with their cart) and chew cud (their driver chews tobacco instead) to block traffic on highways.
…as sentimentalized as the lump in my throat and the tears in my eyes whenever I hear the national anthem; as soppy as the television-serials and the tear-jerking movies watched by us be-sniffling billions; as soaring as the tri-colour fluttering high; and as supremely variegated as the peacock’s proud-tailed display or the tiger’s arched-striped back.
India accepts, absorbs, praises, pushes, moves, immobilizes, mystifies and de-constructs…all in the same day and also all down the decades and centuries.
Saturday, August 16, 2008