Sporadic Patriotism

Lo ka’llo baat?………I have changed my WhatsApp dp and the profile picture of my Facebook page to a Tricolour. I have liked some patriotic videos shared by my friends and I have even forwarded them to my network….aur kya? Happy 70th Independence Day!

Two mornings in a year make us feel patriotic. We suddenly realise that we are supposed to be responsible citizens of this magnificent country. These are the mornings of 26th January and 15th August. If these sentiments get a little stretched to two full days, or to two weeks, to two months and eventually to the entire year.…..Voila! Together we Indians have the potential to regain our country’s past glory.…I like the thought and articulation of our Hon’ble PM when he said, “If 125 crore people of India will walk one step forward, the country would walk 125 crore steps forward.” …see, I too am getting sentimental as we are celebrating our 70th Independence Day today.

In our tradition, morning mantras that we recite every day, offering prayer to Mother Earth and seeking Her forgiveness: Before we get up from our bed and keep our feet on the floor, we say –

समुद्रवसने देवि पर्वतस्तनमण्डले ।
विष्णुपत्नि नमस्तुभ्यं पादस्पर्शं क्षमस्वमे ॥

Samudra-Vasane Devi Parvata-Stana-Mannddale |
Vishnnu-Patni Namas-Tubhyam Paada-Sparsham Kshamasva-Me ||

भावार्थ:- समुद्ररूपी वस्त्रोवाली, पर्वतरूपी स्तनवाली और विष्णु भगवान की पत्नी हे पृथ्वी देवी ! तुम्हे नमस्कार करता हूँ ! तुम्हे मेरे पैरों का स्पर्श होता है इसलिए क्षमायाचना करता हूँ !

1: (Oh Mother Earth) The Devi Who is having Ocean as Her Garments and Mountains as Her Bosom,
2: Who is the Consort of Sri Vishnu, I Bow to You; Please Forgive me for Touching You with my Feet.
………..and every day I see an Audi or a Merc’s door opening at the traffic signal and spit splashes on the Mother Earth…………Mera Bharat Mahaan!?

I am sure all of us have heard the short anecdote about four people named Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. When there was an important task assigned and Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it. Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry because it was Everybody’s job. Everybody thought that Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it. It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.”

As citizens of an incredible country do we take our responsibilities seriously? Why do we always think it’s not our job and somebody else will do it? There is a lot that one can do and not do. But are we sensitive toward our duties or basic responsibilities? Are we playing a game of “passing the parcel” as we never want or allow the buck to stop at us? We expect our employees and team members to take ownership of every activity, every project. Personally, we exert ownership on wealth, family, friends, possessions…the obvious thought is do we feel a similar sense of pride and ownership towards our nation and our duties?

Tomorrow is 16th August…yet another day.

There’s a story that I use as my mirror in everyday life.

One night a thief entered a house.

That house belonged to a Police Inspector who was in the house but was asleep. As the thief entered through the window, he tumbled on an object which made some noise. The lady of the house heard the sound and got alert. She shook her husband who was fast asleep to say, “hey listen, there is a sound I heard from the next room. I suspect there’s an intruder.” The husband murmured, “Hmmmh I know.” Wife was suspiciously awake. After a while she heard the noise as if someone was opening the cupboard. She told her husband, “Hey listen, someone is opening our cupboard.” Husband grunted: huhmmm, I know,” wife thought there must be some strategy on which her smart husband must be working on so she allowed him to sleep.

In some time, she heard the opening and closing of the locker, but husband’s response was the same…Hmmmh, I know. There were steps going out opening window, jumping away…and running.

Wife finally yelled….”Whattt the hhheeelllllll, the thief came, opened the window, broke into the cupboard, took the cash and my ornaments from the locker and all the while you being a cop kept on saying “hmmmmh, I know, hmmmmh, I know.” Why didn’t you get up and stop the thief or catch him red handed?

“Darling, I am not on duty.”….. Replied Husband.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — –
Pankaj Udhas sung an awesome ghazal “Deewaron se milkar rona acchha lagata hai…” All its couplets are simply amazing. However, this last couplet is more relevant and is one of my favourites.

“किसको ‘कैसर’ पत्थर मारुं कौन पराया है?
शीश महल में एक एक चहेरा अपना लगता है l”

“Kisko ‘Kaisar’ patthar maarun kaun paraya hai?
sheesh mahal me eke k chahera, apana lagta hai.”

Whom do I throw a stone at?
I see my own reflection everywhere.

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