One song that always fills tears in my eyes and brings those glimpses of black and white pictures of freedom fighters ruthlessly beaten by atrocious British soldiers.
aye mere vatan ke logon
zara aankh mein bhar lo paani
jo shaheed hue hain unki
zara yaad karo qurbaani
Rendering her sweet voice mixed with the pain and agony of those great people who put their lives in the fore-front of freedom struggle, Lata Mangeshker is ever successful in bringing those memories to all of us, even today.
I was born 26 years after we were free and yet a strange thought of revived nationalism and patriotic sense muse our faces on every August 15th. I remember those golden school days where a weeks worth of preparations to celebrate our Independence Day were filled with enthusiasm, zeal and pride. Rainbow had only three colors and our class walls were filled with great leaders of the past. Indian maps were decorated with everything that we can think of. Sweet packets being packed the night before to be distributed the next day while the senior kids are in charge of making sure the confetti is sprinkled through the air when the national flag is unfurled.
When Vande Mataram was resurrected and resonated between the school walls and loud speakers else where nonchalantly sounding patriotic songs through the air. August being the best month with respect to climate in Hyderabad, had always been an icing on the cake. Bright orange Sun shredding luminous white light through fresh green trees remembered everyone of nationalism and the glory of tri-color.
Kids in all kinds of uniform was the norm till noon that day across every galli, every mohalla and every road. There was never a feeling of religion, cast, creed, status, race or color during the celebrations and every hand was only painted, Indian.
Those memories are rich treasures safely locked inside my heart and head and pop up on our Independence Day. One day I will be an American by law and being a ‘citizen’ I have to respect the law of the land and abide by its good and bad times. Nevertheless, no power on this earth shall take away my memories, the ‘nationalist’ childhood which I am privileged to have.
Nothing on this planet shall repay the debt that we have to our great leaders of the past, but..
my eyes are filled with glorified tears, thinking them, consoling, being and Indian at heart, yesterday, today and tomorrow and ever.
Jo Shaheed huye hein unki, zara yaad karo qurbani…
Jai Hind and Happy Independence day to every one.