‘I’ – the most important letter of the alphabet that I learnt in an elite English medium school. Forgive me if I cannot recall my varnmala with as much ease as my alphabet.
I wake up every morning harbouring a feeling of indolence and try to figure out ways to procrastinate and wish for a holiday in Europe or maybe have a blast in Vegas or a safari ride in Australia. What a grand holiday that would be, away from this city where nothing but rubbish rules!
I hate it when every single day, without fail, I have to criticize someone or the other after reading the National daily and spoil the taste of my morning coffee. I have no idea how many National dailies exist but I read the virtual Wall Street Journal! I am an Indian and I have the right to freedom of speech. Therefore, I can, and will, criticize whosoever I want and whenever I want. So what if I don’t remember that the constitution of my country not only provides me with rights but also duties; duties I studied as a part of ‘social science’ in school, the very subject that got me through my college admissions. Perhaps I were unable to correctly tell who our first president was in a casual street side survey; I know who dominated the US presidential elections! So what if I didn’t know that Satyamev Jayate means ‘Truth Shall Always Prevail”, I take every available opportunity to ridicule the judiciary. I plan to serve an MNC and earn a six figure salary at the age of 35 by helping some other country keep its database in order rather than sitting for the civil services in my own country. I am unaware of how much harm my smoking does to others or how my bribing the traffic havaldar affects my country’s economy in the bigger picture. I may not know how many religious places exist in my own land; I know the temples of Japan! Don’t ask me how many endangered species have a home in my country; at least I know the fauna of Amazon by heart. So what if I despise Khadi unless it is endorsed by some famous fashion brand in Paris…
Well, I exist.
But still, my heart beats when Sachin is about to hit the ball for completing a century. I am disappointed when Sania is out in the third round of a grand slam. I light a candle and protest for injustice when time calls. I still enjoy the Republic Day Parade, flag hoisting on August 15 flag and kite flying even though I don’t pay heed to the speeches. I absolutely get submerged in the taste of street food. I empathize with the little homeless kids I see on traffic signals. I truly wish we could come with an alternative for non-renewable sources of energy.
So what if I know the world more than I know my own country; at heart I was, am and will be always an Indian. The I is what unites me with my country even though it might seem the one that keeps me aloof from it. And whatever said and done, I am proud to call myself an Indian!