As I sit to think..I imagine how it would be to be a 21 year old in the historic year of 1947. On the verge of being independent, how would it be? As a woman of that era I guess I would have already been engaged to be married to a 'government servant' or a 'barrister'(8-10 years my senior)..or I can't think of the other categories of 'eligible bachelors' of the 1940s. Maybe I would have decided not to walk the aisle that early and decided to pursue studies,teach in a school or do some social work. For pastimes me and my girl friends would go to a nearby fair near the house or just 'hang out' on the terrace of a 3 storeyed ancestral house! And there would be this favorite time of the day when there would be kites in the sky,dotting the firmament with innumerable colours late in the evenings.My favorite beverage would have been elaichi chai (cardamom tea) and I would sip it reading the Statesman, in my starched cotton saree, while the baritone of Pankaj Mallik on the gramophone would fill up my soul.'Piya milan ko jana'..the song that magnificently brings about the magic of love, of hidden subtle love. Where the lovers are away from each other and a meeting of the two is meticulously, stealthily planned by them..But the romantic melody would fade away in a few moments with the groups of khadi clad men and women protesting against the British. And I would lunge over the terrace to see, admire and soon join the protest. How great that feeling must be, the moments with the people of India, who were struggling for the future generations; what a rush one could feel by just shouting out the slogans of "Vande Mataram"..
And now, year 2008..as a 21 year old, I'm waiting for my graduation degree and further a degree in law by 2010, no husband fixed up formally, and favorite hang out place is 'Cafe Coffee Day'. I would prefer mocha chino and Cafe Late` instead of elaichi chai, but ya I don't have an aversion to the latter.The girl friends outing is more of a shopping spree to catch up with our favorite brands offering sale. And the music is Mp3, I'm thumping my feet to the music of 'Rock On'..The late evenings don't have kites in the sky dotting it colourfully because, maybe the kids are on their video games, social networking sites or at tuition classes. I'm not on the terrace of an ancestral house, but in my little balcony of my hostel room. I read the Hindustan Times and sometimes when I'm running short of time, I check out the headlines in an e-newspaper! Well, there are protests even now, but it does not give me that feeling of greatness, it does not give a rush. It also does not bring about the feeling of unity..because it is for land that belongs to the nation. But, its not land being demanded by any alien, it is our own motherland getting fragmented by her own sons.. Whether Amarnath or Hajj why can't people accept each other's choices, each other's faiths.. The ramification of the clashes is just bloodshed. And the worst form of it is..that there is bloodshed without reaching martyrdom..The free citizens are not realising what they are doing to freedom. The politicians are far from resolving their own ideological differences..
What will become of our nation, with greater divisions being demanded by the naxalites and separatists? Is this what the youth and the wise men of the year 1947 thought India would face? I wish I could go back in time and change a few things,a few dates, a few decisions, and ultimately fate..
Happy Independence Day!!