Independence day – II

August 15, 2008

I was bed ridden with viral fever for the past two days, and had nothing to do except watch the buses, cars, pickups, lorries and all the vehicles that pass by, through my window. I was having severe headache, and so hubby never allowed me to even take the laptop. It was really boring days, to just lie in bed.
It was August 14th, and I could here the sounds from the TV in my room. I listened to it, as I had nothing else to do. I was not able to watch it, due to my headache. I heard the words, “Independence day special programs”, in between the national song and national anthem. It was only then I remembered. August 15th was the Indian Independence Day. The day India declred her freedom from the colonialists – the Britons. I have learned about Mahatma Ghandhi, Nehru, Jinna, Azad, Ambedkar and so many freedom fighters of the British India, and the leaders of free India in history. But later in my years, I found out half of the history we learn in just rubbish, or false. I felt these people are not really great. I think the real heroes are the lakhs or crores of the public mass whose names no history book have revealed, in whose name there are no memorials and who never desired any positions or status for their life they gave for their country.
When in India, I used to look forward for the day, not because I was patriotic, but because I got a day off from school, college and work. And yeah, I was a little patriotic too, until I reached UAE. But when I watched the multicultured people here in UAE, it seemed to me that all human beings are the same, regardless of their nation, caste or gender. They all have same basic needs – food, water, shelter and clothes. What does an African need more than an Indian? What is there more good about an American from a Chinese? Is pain and misery for a person from middle east different for a person in Australia?
Well, I was thinking about these when I saw a pickup being pulled in to the parking lot infront my window. It had a Pakistani flag flying on its bonnet. It was then I remembered, August 14th was Pakistan’s Independence Day. The day when Indian subcontinent was divided into India and Pakistan. According to history, it was Mr. Jinna’s request for a separate country for muslims (although I don’t believe in history), and Pakistan was born. It is said that India and Pakistan have always been enemies since then. But I don’t agree with it (another big rubbish written in history). I don’t hate Pakistanis nor do I think a Pakistani will hate Indian. Its the political leaders, with the help of other countries like US, that play a major part in making India and Pakistan enemies.
Next day, I sat at the window to see cars flying with an Indian flag. But to my utter disbelief, there was none. I saw some two or three more cars with the Pakistani flag – flags they have not been removed since yesterday. But not a single Indian flag. I sat till dusk, without any success. Why aren’t there any Indians who are as patriotic as Pakistanis? I think there are more number of Indians in UAE than Pakistanis. And yeah, less (or zero) number of patriotic Indians than Pakistanis (I don’t know about any other country’s independence day to count the patriotic persons in that country). But then again, patriotism is not in the flag on our car. I don’t think loving our nation means believing that “east or west, India is the best”. To love our country means to obey the rules of our country, to keep away from destroying her properties ( and in this, I feel I’m more patriotic than any political party member, because they are always interested in destroying public properties when on a strike). But loving my country doesn’t mean I’ll support her when making wrong decisions, or decisions that go against my belief and morals.
Any way, I love my country. Jai Hind. And I love all countries. Jai Sare Desh.


Independence Day

August 15, 2008

Well, once again the august 15th. The Indian Independence day. Some thoughts on it.

The drums roar to the national song,

And the flag blows, to the wind, so strong,

Soldiers march, with pride and honor

When patriotism rises in heart’s every corner.

The picture of the Independence Day

In our minds, it always does lay.

But turn your hearts to the unlucky ones,

For whom home is the earth under the sun.

And food is only a handful of rice-water.

When curses fall on their daughter

For the dowry they have to spent for her,

Who can complain if its sons they prefer?

They never heard the word independence

Because in school, they have no attendance.

Boys are born with pistols and guns,

And bomb blasts, everyday, is more than tens.

When we celebrate our freedom day,

In Champaign and Chicken fry today,

Our country men plunges deep into slavery,

Slavery of illiteracy, terrorism and all the misery.

But still, to the you, my dear brother or sister,

I wish a Happy Independence Day, dipped in tears.

Did you say we are oppressed,

When in our veil, we are dressed?

When we cover ourselves from wandering eyes,

And keep our decency in front of guys,

You want to say that we are oppressed?

Women are oppressed, when you say,

I’m sure you are in ignorant way.

‘Coz my dad kisses me sweet, everyday

And say, ‘To paradise you are my way’,

For those who care for their little girls,

Allah assured them a heavenly home of pearls.

Yet you say, in Islam, we are oppressed,

When in decency we are dressed.

Who deserves the chocolate first,

If not his girls, and only then, the rest.

That’s how the Prophet did

First to the girls, and then the other kids.

But you look at our dresses

And decide, the women, Islam oppresses.

The paradise, to you, is not further

Than under the feet of your mother.

And straight to heaven, angels drag her

When in her delivery, death finds her.

Still you say, we are oppressed,

When women in Islam are greatly blessed.

Don’t you know in history, when women lead war,

And they traveled fearless, near and far.

It was Islam that gave them a dignified self,

And made her proud of herself.

But you shout women are oppressed,

When in truth, in Islam, women are blessed.

I wouldn’t have noticed her, if we weren’t the only girls in the train compartment. May be her college bag, travel bag, her pale blue jeans and orange t-shirt bought my attention towards this fair, smart girl who looked to me almost my age. “Might be she is a student of some near by colleges, like myself”, I thought. I was on my way home after our half yearly exams, to spend the week with my family. I was in a vacation mood, happy that the exams are over and looking forward for the vacation as my cousins are coming to stay with us. Vacation would be hell lot of fun!!! I thought. I decided to give this girl a small smile, while usually I’m introvert and a bit hesitant to smile to strangers.
And as I expected, the smile bought a lot of conversation between us, even though she was the first to start it.
“Your name….?”
“Najeeba, and what is yours?”
Usually I would have stopped here and plunged in to the book in my hand if it was someone who was not of my interest ( almost everyone are). But the happiness of going back home made me stay away from the book. All I wanted was to share it with someone, and celebrate every moments of my vacation. And I was glad to find a person who was also going home for her vacation.
After a long thought about what to ask, finally I put the question, “ Where are you studying?”.

“Manglore doing my degree in MBA, and you?”
“Kannur. B.Tech. Going home, in Kozhikode.”
“I live in Thrissur. Mannuthi, exact place. Have you heard of that place?”
“Sure”,said I. There was an agriculture college in Mannuthi where I have often gone to buy plants for my garden. “The agriculture college in Mannuthi.”
“My home is about a few kilometers away from it.” Replied Shinsi.
And so we started talking, about college, food, politics, love, marriage, life and everything under the sun. She has got a younger brother in higher secondary, her mother a doctor and father a scientist at BARC. Her brother was also staying in a boarding in Manglore.
“Why in boarding when there are so many good higher secondary schools in Thrissur?” I asked.
“Coz my parents believe that boarding is the best place to educate children.” She explained. “I was in boarding schools from my first standard on wards.”
I was shocked! She was in boarding from her fifth year onwards, while I have felt like running away from boarding a hundred times within these three years!! And I didn’t hide my surprise.
“Not from fifth year, dear, from forth year itself.” She was cool!! “I joined first when I was four years old. And I have stayed in……”
She put up her fingers and started counting….
“…….1…2….3…….5…..9…10…15…..yup, fifteen hostels in all.”
“Fifteen?!!!!” One was more than enough for me. “Don’t you get sick of hostels?”
Her reply was even more surprising.
“Nope, I get sick of home.” There was a few moments of silence while I sat like I haven’t understood what she said. Sick of home?
“There is no one at home for me. Mummy goes to hospital early in the morning and comes home only after dusk. Dad comes once in a month. And I have nothing to do at home. I don’t like home for more than two days.”
The child of the post-modern age, I thought to myself. I have read about such people in newspapers, magazines and books. Who else can prefer boarding places to home? Anyway, not me!
“So what do you do after your education? You will have to go home, won’t you?” I asked.
She smiled. “Never. I plan to find some job in a place away from home and stay in a working women’s hostel there.”
“And marriage….You will have a home and family then.” I said.
“Marriage??!! Me? No way!” She shouted. “I hate men!!”
Oh! My God! What a creature!!
“And who do you think will help you when you get old?” I wanted her to understand the importance of a family. But her answer was quick.
“And what for do you think people are building so many old-age homes today?” She asked. “ I work till I am not able to work, and then rest with the money I have made by then.”

I could think of only a different version of the Sanskrit slokan:
Pitha rakshathi koumare – Father cares her in childhood,
Barhtyaa rakshathi youvanne – Husband cares her in adolescence,
Puthro rakshathi vardhakye – Sons cares her in old age,
Nna sthree swathanthryamarhathi – No women deserves independence.

Convent rakshathi koumare – Convent cares her in childhood,
Hostel rakshathi youvanne – Hostel cares her in adolescense,
Old-age homes rakshathi vardhakye – Old-age homes cares her in old age,
Nna sthree paranthyamarhathi – No women deserves dependence.