Monday, January 25, 2010

Republic Day Dilemma - Short Story on

Republic Day Dilemma - Short Story on

IT was just another Sunday. Lazy souls like me generally prefer an extra hour of sleep on Sunday mornings. I jostled out of the blanket and with reluctant steps toddled to the bathroom. Once out, I settled myself upon the sofa, tucked myself with a shawl and before taking the first sip from my coffee cup, flicked on the TV. Seeing the parade on the screen it suddenly occurred to me that it was 26 January, our Republic Day. Somewhere deep within me everything got scrambled and I could no longer remain in ease.

The parade was on. Our freedom was being exhibited in strict discipline. Citizens braved the New Delhi chill to cheer the processions of the army and artisans, performing atop the colourful tabloids of different states — a picture postcard representation of India’s “unity in diversity”. This combined with a running commentary by a lax commentator, extolling the spirit of “One India”, dotted by the background tune of Saare Jahan Se Accha, Hindustan Hamara.

For me, though, our Republic Day brings with it a different message. The golden ideal of unity among different casts, creeds and religions has turned a myth for me. Sands of time flowed back a decade in a whisker. I could recall the day vividly when I first met her. Ideals would have have tuned into a myth if I had not met her.

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