Independence day has come and gone. Flags were hoisted all over the city and people exhibited that smidgeon of patriotism they especially reserve for this day. All of a sudden, their heart swelled with pride as songs from Hindi movies played in the background.
Mera mulk mera desh, mera ye watan,
Shanti ka, unnati ka, pyaar ka chaman.
(Oh yeah, my country is the best!)
Dil diya hai jaan bhi denge, ae watan tere liye,
Har karam apna karenge, ae watan tere liye.
(Do or die for the country, dudes!)
Ye Duniya ik dulhan, dulhan ke maathe ki bindiya,
Ye mera India, I love my India.
(India is the belle of the ball, yo, the shining star of the world!)
As the day draws to an end, I see people lying around in a beer induced stupor, the pride and the love for their country already fading. By tomorrow morning, the world will go back to being normal. Tricolored kites will be hanging sad and forlorn from electricity poles. Stale orange, white and green barfis that went unsold will be dumped into the dustbin. Little beggars who were pushing tiny little flags into our hands a few days ago will have already moved on to the next trending thing to sell at streetlights. And, after watching the nth rerun of Gandhi on television, I will be ready to hunt down and kill Ben Kingsley for ever accepting that role.
Life will go on, and India, the darling of our hearts for one day, will be forgotten until 26th Jan, or the next India-Pakistan match, at which time the Indian fervour will be back with a bang. People with inflated chests and pride in their motherland will be seen shouting patriotic slogans in husky voices. They will declare their love with vehemence and force it down the throats of all those they meet. Their empty minds will label every independent thought as dissent and brand people with opinion as traitors. They will strut and growl and curse and shout and provoke and incite … all in the name of patriotism.
And they will do absolutely nothing more than that for the country!