Thursday, January 25

Flags of our Fathers

"It must have been so much easier when there was a common enemy, and the vision of a hypothetical, perfect country", she said. "It's just so hard to accept the reality of it. With all the lying, cheating, in-fighting, back-biting. And keep loving it, and wanting to be a part of it." She looked guilty. She wished more than anything that he would argue. Give her examples of the glory, the pride, the beauty. She hoped he'd give her a brief lecture on Indian history (the sort she used to abhor), complete with the chronology and the main players, like he'd done so often. She wanted to believe. She wanted to love. She wanted to be proud. She just didn't see how she could be. Everywhere she looked she saw reasons to despair, people to cry for, some to be enraged at, but mostly to be pitied. And she felt guilty. An accident of birth, and she could take for granted the sort of amenities that more than half the population couldn't even dream of. She didn't deserve it. Everytime she read about a fresh riot, a protest, a strike, a scandal, everytime she responded with anger and frustration, a little voice reminded her that she had left the country. She had fled. She had deserted. She had no right to criticise that which didn't affect her anymore, that which she wasn't a part of. It wasn't like that, she could argue. She was going to return, she would insist. She would always be Indian and because of that she wanted to believe, to see the light, to embrace the country that she belonged to. But she wanted him to make her, because what she saw didn't fill her with confidence. "Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, is not believing. When sight steps in, belief has no purpose." I read that in a Terry Pratchett, he confessed sheepishly. "A lot of hope has gone into this country, it's sand is steeped in the blind, optimistic-against-all-odds belief of millions. We're survivors. Time brings change. Believe." He had said the right thing. She felt happier. There was hope.

Happy Republic Day, you guys.

Cautionary Note: Was feeling soppy. And it is Republic Day. And I do love India :D

17 comments:

Sunshine said...

First! :D

Sunshine said...

Happy republic day to you too! :D Yeah, I guess we can't help but love our country no matter what.. :-)

Anonymous said...

A lot of hope has gone into this country, it's sand is steeped in the blind, optimistic-against-all-odds belief of millions. We're survivors. Time brings change. Believe.

brilliant. so true.

Revealed said...

@SS: Ty :). And yeah, I totally agree :P

@C&b: Ty :)

Anonymous said...

'Seeing, contrary to popular wisdom, is not believing. When sight steps in, belief has no purpose.'

Maybe I should read Terry Pratchett.

Revealed said...

@KG: Yeah, I love that line :P. It's sort of epiphanic isnt it? You read it, and then do a mental double take and go, omg! he's right! if i saw it i wouldnt *need* to believe it!

Anonymous said...

One thinks she feels guilty a little too easily though. :P

Cloudy said...

Is 'he' fictional? She is definitely not, I know. Do you have converstations in your head with imaginary people? I used to have 3 imaginary friends with impossible- to-pronounce names, who unfortunately perished during the time that people call "growing up". Recently learned that my brother's 4 year old has a couple of I.Fs and she gets upset if he closes the car door before they climb in :-) The gene lives on!

Was this totally irrelevant? Never mind, me second!

Revealed said...

@Cloudy: What dya mean fictional??? He's as alive as you are!!! He doesn't have a name though, cos he's the only XY factor in my head. The rest are all absolutely XX :D (It just helps sometimes to have the male perspective, like when you're confronted with a big, black flying insect, and y'know it's kill or be killed).

Revealed said...

And it wasn't totally irrelevant! (n *even* if it was i'm not complaining :P). A moment's silence for the incidental casualties of "growing up" is appropriate at this point one feels.

Anonymous said...

Did you edit the post a little, or am I imagining things?

Anonymous said...

I was imagining things, I think. Misread it.

Revealed said...

@KG: Definitely imagining things! :P

Revealed said...

OMG! Does it *need* editing? Did I screw up somewhere? Wrote it in a hurry, and while distracted by other happenings. So pliss to excuse and *tell me* so that I can change it.

Anonymous said...

revealed,

1. Heh. That happens to me sometimes. :D

2. :P:P Nothing wrong with it, just misread it.

maya said...

cloudy, me thinks u r as endearing and weird as revealed!!!glad to "meet" one more of the clan!:)

Cloudy said...

@Maya: Ty! Glad to meet you too :-)