Curious Inkpot- Beyond a Blog

Stories from an Indian Millennial

The Patriotism Of Goosebumps!

It's evening of 15th August 2016, 70 years ago 'Bharat' or as the English speaking call it, 'India' finally succeeded in its struggle of freedom from the suit-boot rulers to the kurta-dharis ones. Pardon my sarcasm but that's how I sincerely see it.

Today 70 years after, the feel and importance of 15th August have changed significantly. For a working class like me, it's more of a long weekend rather than a reminder of the day when India's tryst with destiny started. Our patriotism is limited to posting, liking and sharing patriotic posts on Facebook or re-tweeting independence days hashtags on Twitter. Oh! how can I forgot the celebrations at the office, conveniently kept on Friday so that more people can attend! It's relatively a 'light' day you see. And so you have those series of games and performances for the most part of your second half to mark the independence day. You better enjoy it or at least pretend you do. While all this stands true, there is another aspect to our patriotic side and that is 'patriotism of goosebumps'.

Goosebumps! Have you ever felt them every time a movie theatre plays the national anthem? or when you hear a passionate patriotic song? Well, I get them mostly always and with that comes a feeling (maybe of pride) which I cannot really describe in its truest sense. So when this time again, during the office celebration, the national anthem was played and someone sang 'Ae mere watan ke logo' , these little bumps were jumping everywhere over me. As if screaming to remind me of my almost paralyzed patriotism which doesn't go beyond facebooking, tweeting or lunch table talks.
Talking about lunch table talks! While its a subject of an altogether different discussion, they do form an important aspect of our so-called patriotism. For the initiators, lunch table is the place where a working-class Indian, be it an elite or middle class thinks/talks about his/her country almost every day. From personal experience, this also includes the Indian diaspora scattered globally. Whether they already have citizenship of the residing country or they aspire to get it someday, these lunch table talks keep them connected to 'Bharat'. Be it socio-economic issues or that pertaining to religion, these lunch table talks address all of them. The lines are drawn, sides are taken, opinions are made and arguments countered. But by the time lunchtime walk ends and its back to business. Just like our politicians whose fiery opinions see the door as soon as the stage changes from a rally manch to a Delhi drawing room. It's heaven in paradise all over again! Then the sun rises the next day and there is a new topic to be debated at the 'Lunch table talks'. 

To confess, I myself have been an active contributor to them but with time they frankly have lost relevance for me. Not that having awareness, or discussing these issues with fellow citizens isn't good, its just that it's not good enough, at least for me. It reminds me of my own inaction in having to do something to change the social, political or economic issues we very passionately debate about. But every time I get these goosebumps, they remind me of those tiny flickers that are still burning, waiting for the fuel that will make them fire...

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I am a writer by passion, a petroleum engineer by accident and a proud Indian by origin.
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