The vestige of Independence

Image from Google

It is again that time of the year when my Facebook wall will be filled with done-to-death wallpaper wishes for Independence Day.

There will be photos of our flag fluttering like Asha Parekh’s eyelashes with “Jai Hind” smeared all over it (over the flag not the eyelashes).

There will be photos of India’s map covered with Saffron, white and green as if while playing with his ball (Earth), an alien giant playfully smeared India with those colours and finally provided us another way to distinguish between Northies (orange skinned) and Southies (Green skinned).

There will be pictures of Mother India leaning over a map of the nation, with her head resting over Kashmir, her foot in the south and her left hand holding a trident plucked in the ass of the Eastern populace (symbolic of how the rest of India treats them) and her right hand raised as if trying to slap us for freeing her and chaining her again (We mistake it as a hand raised in blessing because we love making mistakes. Look at Manmohan Singh)

There will be pictures of young, semi naked army men displaying their oily, expressway-ish chests and their 3X2 matrix abs with ‘Proud to be an Indian’ photoshopped over their collective crotch.

There will be some Congress bashing facts (nothing is complete nowadays without it as it is the garam masala of our dish of frustration) and there will be poems on national integration intended to bring tears to our eyes and failing (the fact remains that the only thing which brings tears to our eyes after 65 years of independence is Onions. Because of their price).

And as if that was not enough, there will be people liking the pictures and putting comments like – ‘I m soooooooooooooooo proud 2 b an Indian 2day’ and ‘Jay Hind’ and ‘I ❤ ❤ my India!!!!!!!!!!!!!’, especially on the picture of the semi naked army men.

And if that was not enoughily enough, there will be people writing collective messages to their friend list saying – ‘Happy Independence day’ and will get amazingly creative replies like – ‘Happy Independence to u 2 Dude!’ instead of bland ones like – ‘What fuc*ing Independence?’.

We have reached a stage where patriotism can be measured by your Facebook posts. The percentage by which a nation is patriotic could be calculated by the vain messages shared by its self-centered and me-first population over Facebook. So hypothetically, according to Facebook, Indians are 99.99% patriotic. Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh would have given a high-five to each other if they would not have known better. They are probably having a *face-palm* session in heaven and gaping at the mess they have created.

But let’s not talk about 1947. The moral of the story of our independence was that after getting their land back, people divide it and kill each other. So you better be on the right side of the line. Anyways, coming back to modern India and leaving aside mundane topics like corruption, acid throwing competitions, people dying of hunger, erosion of the thin line between rivers and sewers, malnutrition, random men squeezing butts of random women in dark alleys to teach them about culture, let’s talk about exciting stuff.

I was wondering if Poonam Pandey will pose nude on our Independence Day with the tricolor painted on her body to cheer us all up after Manmohan Singh finishes his speech which will be basically him staring at the bulletproof glass in front of him for one hour. Oh! The uproar after that is so maliciously exciting, isn’t it? And it will be so cute to see Sonia Gandhi running to cover up Manmohan’s eyes as Poonam walks up the dais.

I was also wondering which done to death patriotic movie will be done to death again this year. We have so many classics to choose from:

  • Gandhi (the only Hollywood movie in which Indian actors did not play snake charmers, beggars and kings)
  • Shahid Bhagat Singh (All 4.5 versions of it)
  • Gadar (don’t we all love the way Sunny Deol screams his way in and out of Pakistan with a handpump in his hand and saves a constantly pouting Amisha?)
  • Swadesh (The only movie in which SRK didn’t bleat)
  • Mother India (in which Nargis and Sunil Dutt fell in love while playing mother and son)
  • Purab Paschim (The only attempt in the history of Bollywood to pass an actress (Saira Banu) as blonde))
  • Kranti (the only movie in Bollywood with an erotic baby delivery scene because of the way Hema Malini moans while popping him out)
  • Karma (where Dilip Kumar displayed Olympics winning capabilities as he etched a map of India on a wall with bullets and the villian pissing his pants somewhere in Madhya Pradesh)
  • Border (I cannot forget the scene where Pooja Bhatt sucks a mango as her left eye shrinks to nothingness and then Akshay Kumar sucks a mango too, touching his inner left cheek with his inner right one.)
  • Lagaan (A British lady falling for a stinking, filthy villager. Lucky bastard)

And it goes on and on and on. As we watch these movies year after year, we grow misty eyed and in the flow of sentiments, we log into our Facebook account and reaffirm our love for our nation –  ‘I ❤ U India! I really Do!’. We feel light after using Facebook as a commode to flush patriotism out of our body. How else can our conscience allow us to throw the wrapper of our burger (smeared with leftover mayonnaise) on the head of a sleeping beggar on the pavement? How else can we drive a car at 120km/hour and kill a man eating his last ice-cream on a footpath? How else can we pass a 1000 Rs note for a speedy driving license? How else can we justify our desperation, the mutual love we share with our corrupt machinery? How else can we enjoy a women getting molested on a road and then on YouTube?

If independence would have been a woman, she would have died by absolute exhaustion because of the number of times we have abused, molested and gang-raped her. Thankfully, independence is not a woman. It is just a notion, a feeling which surfaces on a single day every year and is buried the next day, a feeling which is confined like a bird in a cage called Facebook. It is just the picture of Mahatma Gandhi on that 1000 Rs note which we pass under the table.

Thank God for small mercies.

And why the fuc* do I end up writing serious stuff at the end of funny posts!?!!

Anyways, Happy Independence Day. Catch Ya on Facebook!

Luv U India! Loads!

40 comments on “The vestige of Independence

    • It does gets a bit nauseating at times because it is quite meaningless. Putting a flag on my Facebook wall does not make me patriotic. Not throwing garbage on the road does. Understanding, respecting and fighting for everything our Constitution stands for is too tall an order. If we could get our basics right, that would be a start.

  1. Like the way you have come out with your inner voice which we so-called-indians, indeed,forget the very next day after flagging the sacred saffron stuff. One more thing which I would like to share (as what I noticed on facebook) is : Some posts seem to be scathing attackers on you if you won’t be the one to like the page. It seems if you won’t like it you would be counted as an enemy to the nation.

      • No…. We do know that we are faking …. but we enjoy the moment .. and we keep pushing these faking thoughts so much that after some time if we try to introspect, our heart start suggesting fake ….

        • RPS, sometimes we are seasoned to react to situations and we do that without giving a second thought to our actions. It just settles on our heart like dust.

          • Amit, Frustration is not seasoned, but yes it blows out seasonally wherever it gets the way. It settles in our heart for some time and gets accumulated. You know, we are so selfish that even though we are bleeding by this rotten system (which indeed we are the part of) but still think “somebody” will give us ‘another’ freedom without affecting our daily luxuries.

            • I agree. RPS, I think the problem is the absence of a leader. We all are angry and frustrated but there is no one to show the way.
              Also, I do believe that a lot of people do their bit in their own small and big way. They are the real heroes of the present India. There are lakhs of us who have given up luxaries and brought changes. Then there are ones who do not care, who are synthetic in their sympathies. They need a lot of introspection.
              I do believe that things will change, slowly and painfully, but they will change.

  2. August 15 is reduced to movies on tv, tri colored idlies in the hostel mess, flag hoisting and ladoo distribution in gated communities following which There is a long lecture about the next general body meeting….it’s the one day rush for diverse India buffet in star hotels, atrocious “rs.1947” discounts and hell loads of other crap! But personally it’s freedom from work without having to apply and beg for a well deserved break, my very own independence day!

    • Haha! Yeah, I guess you are right. This is a holiday for which none of us has begged for and then some do not get even this much of freedom. I know of people who are slogging in their office on this day too.

  3. Awesome. for me the biggest irritant is when people start commenting with all those nauseatingly laced messages. Only yesterday I was at a shop and had a banana peel in my hand. I asked the vendor if there was a dustbin, he said ‘bahar fenk dijiye’. I turned to him and said “Aaapki dukan ke aage fenk deti hun” and smiled. He was stunned and immediately showed me where the dustbin was.

  4. i do share your sentiments. when Anna Hazare started his movement, i was startled to see millions of people coming out in his support. if we really had so many honest people in India then we wouldn’t require any movement at all. we find a system corrupt only when our vested interest is hurt otherwise we do enjoy a little manipulation here and there. look at Baba Ramdev screaming his lungs out to get all the black money back to India whereas he is happily enjoying his undisclosed wealth. how shameless people can be?

    having said that we do feel proud when we see India doing well in any field and those moments of pride are genuine. however, we should realize that we need to contribute as well, as a responsible citizen, more importantly as a human being otherwise we don’t have any right to be proud of someone else’s achievements.

    • Deb,
      The movement went great last year but movements cannot have intervals and that was the mistake. I am wondering whether the movement somehow strengthened the roots of corruption by fizzling out. And making a party is a terrible mistake. They are just dividing the votes which would have gone against Congress to a single party.
      Anyways, yes I agree, we have grown despite political apathy. That is an achievement in itself. And there are many people who are constantly working to make things better.

  5. I don’t understand where we went wrong. It didn’t look so bad a few years back when we were in college. Roads looked decent, prices were fine, and well, it seemed that our politicians were trying.
    We all try to do something in our own way for our beloved country. But the efforts don’t seem to be enough. Whom should we blame?I pray and hope that the next few years will make us shine…
    That’s us – Indians. We never give up on our dreams, do we? Happy Independence Day!

    • Nisha,
      I think it was always that bad. The cultural preservation brigade was always there. I remember how they beat up couples on Valentine’s Day when I was in college and I am talking about 10 years back. We have always been like this. The only difference now is that the social media and television has exposed what was hushed up earlier. Now we have modes to react and to know.
      Yes, we do not give up easily. That is why this nation is still standing on its feet.

  6. Don’t be too strict to India’s pride. I’m French, and I would like people to be a bit more patrotic sometimes.
    But your post is great! Your list of films and their comments made me laugh to death! Thanks!
    And happy independence day! 😉

    • Oh, I am very patriotic. Didn’t you read the last line of the post? 🙂
      Thanks and I really wish you would have seen those movies to make the connection. Or have you? Don’t tell me you know Hindi and you have seen all of them! Thanks for laughing to death anyways. You do me great kindness. 🙂

      • Of course, you are patriotic; i’ve noticed all what you do for your country on your blogs.
        मैं हिंदी नहीं बोलती हूँ लेकिन में सीख रही हूँ. यह मुश्किल है. so, my level is still too poor to understand hindi movies. I’ve seen Lagaan, Gandhi, of course and
        my students work on several extracts from this film to know about the situation in those days and Gandhi’s strategy to get independence. I enjoyed Mother India but it was a long time ago. I’ve seen Swades but I didn’t really like it, actually, I don’t remember it so I suppose I wasn’t extatic. But I love SK, I think he is a very good actor. He’s got so much energy in his way of acting and he has got a strong personality. In France, people loved Devdas. We discovered Bollywood thanks to this film. But it is still very complicated to see an Indian movie in France. It is not very popular.

        • Wow! I am impressed. I tried learning French sometime back but I didn’t go beyond ‘Homme’ (it was so damn difficult!). It was a after effect of visiting Paris. You actually took the pains to understand and love another culture. That is something. 🙂
          I too never liked Swades And I saw Devdas three times in a theater. I was madly in love with that movie. Good old days!

  7. Pingback: One Day, Two Mothers: Independent India and Virgin Mary « A Message To India

  8. okie! late again..but I have to comment

    1. By your post, I am the most non-Indian person on earth…I dont even log into facebook now a days 😦

    2. You remember that scene in Border..what are you, a photographic memory person gah!

    3. I like SRK only in two movies – Swades and Chak De *SRK lovers dont kill me*

    Errr…despite all this, what to say ‘proud to be an Indian’ gah!

    • Haha! You are not non-Indian. You don’t flaunt your Indian-ness without understanding it. Which is good.
      That scene in Border was very symbolic. What Pooja Bhatt did to that mango is exactly what our army did to the enemy. That scene was poetry.
      I was a huge SRK fan once. Then I saw some good movies with some good actors in them.

  9. Some years ago an acquaintance asked me “tum kal gantantra diwas ki chutti pe kya kar rahe ho?”…she of course meant swatantra diwas but potato pohtato as long as it is a holiday was her come back when I corrected her…
    Jai Hind!

    • It is just a holiday for most of us. I remember some incidences where people I know got confused and thought that they have missed the colourful parade. I had to remind them that the parade happens in January.
      Undoubtedly, Jai Hind!

  10. Oh I am so non-Indian as R’s mom puts it..perhaps on the verge of being anti-Indian. I remember in school it was compulsory to be present on Independence day and how I loathed to attend. I didn’t want to miss another holiday. For me it has always been just a holiday.

    On another note, just out of the Olympics mode, and I wonder if we will ever be able to do something so spectacular like this on such a massive scale.

    • We all are on the verge. I hope someone pulls us back.
      I have never heard about schools opening on Independence day. It is not allowed. It is strange that they actually do it.

      For Olympics, I think the government knows exactly what they have to do to get more medals. It is just a matter of moving their butt. There is no dearth of talent in India.

  11. A lovely post, as usual! I share your sentiments on Independence Day. It is so nauseating to see I-day messages all over people’s walls, and I want to shake them up and ask them – What independence? The recent exodus of people from the North-east from Bangalore is proof that we are still stuck in a pre-Independence era. Every year, I am becoming less and less inclined to believe that we are truly an independent country.

    What comes to mind now is Tagore’s poem: Where the head is held high and the mind is without fear? That India, for me, is free India – a truly independent country. And we are FAAAAAAAR away from that.

    You know what? I was reading about life and customs in 19th century China in Lisa See’s book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan recently ( I even did a review on my blog). I felt that the regressive thought processes that worked in the 19th century are still in vogue in India today. That’s really a sad thing.

    Loved the description of the mango-sucking scene in Border and that of Sonia Gandhi covering Manmohan Singh’s eyes, and the depiction of Mother India. 😀 You know how to be sarcastic, don’t you? 🙂

    • Isn’t it mind-boggling that we still threaten each other based on the boundaries within India? Why do we need Pakistan to scare us? We have Maharashtra scaring Bihar, Karnataka scaring North East. Our country is such a stale joke. The only true independence will come through prosperity and education but that will never happen. The poor are a vote bank no political party would like to lose because they bring in power and more money in Swiss accounts.

      And I was watching ‘The help’ yesterday and I thought – isn’t that how we still behave with our maids? Give them separate plates and cups. It seems the filth of human mind can be recycled and passed through decades, across countries too.
      Yeah, I think I have a sarcastic bone in my body. I refrain myself from indulging too much though. 🙂

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