Friday, August 17, 2007

Baat dil ki kahoon, Hindustani jo hoon..

so i couldnt blog on independance day (15th august) and the only remotely celebratory thing i did to was read the inside special in Financial Times about India. then there are some elaborate plans to go tommorow to see the Indian Day Parade, where Priyanka Chopra is supposedly attending or something. God knows if thats going to happen. Nobody is that enthusiastic.

I guess its different if you actually are IN the city when independance is celebrated. and sometimes I dont really know what independance means to the newer generation. other than a day off from school and fireworks and bright lights. (of which i never did, coz fireworks were not allowed in dubai and i was never allowed to be part of the cool kids who did them anyway(

even my parents who were too young during the years after independance, dont really feel any "connection" to this day. its the case where if you dont go through it you dont feel it. "rang de basanti-ish" is our attitude. (the earlier part, i mean)

but that doesnt mean everyone feels the same. for some its a remembrance of how after so many years, we still are "qaidi" of own personal demons of race, color, religion, corruption, poverty and greed. for some its a case of looking at others and passing judgement from our own bubble. for some its a painful reminder that an eye for an eye makes everyone blind. for some its a recollection of things that could have been had we not been separated into smaller parts, only to suffer without each other.

its time to accept that whatever has happened has happened. its time to move on and be optimistic. if you dont, you will fall behind. i didnt make those rules, its just the way it is.

for me the strange thing is i grew up in dubai and i lived all my life there. so i could never really associate myself with india. i was very anti india. yes it sounds really horrible. it probably was. i was the spoilt kid who could only associate india with mosquitoes (blame my parnets for taking us there during the monsoon season). and i was the kid who used to cringe when we saw flies in the house and until they were all "eradicated" i couldnt sit in peace. where the guy who would be yelling while selling something early in the morning, would irritate me so much that i remember once actually going out and telling him to stop. ( i was that spoilt) . where i would ask my dad a zillion times "when are we going back". where i would actually lose weight on a holiday to india. the land of relatives and good food. where i would use all tricks in the book to avoid going out to relatives houses or even going to town(bombay main city) for that matter. i have so many stories.

so its a little strange, that when im here now in US. i find that i started speaking hindi more. and i as i grew older, i find that all those things which used to bug me dont matter anymore. i look forward to going to india, and especially during the monsoons. and if someone told me that you would have to move there and actually work there i really wouldnt mind. i like the bustling city, i like the haggling in the sabzi market, i like the joggers park near where we live. the street mess doesnt bug me as much. and i actually want to go to town, panvel and other areas which i never visited and want to see the city not just the touristy places. not only mumbai but even places like calcutta and chennai that ive never gone to. i cant explain why i feel this. well maybe coz i m not now so narrow minded and pathetic. but i feel almost like i belong. and i guess thats the indianness in me. theres a lot of loyalty i have for dubai coz i grew up there but theres also a lot of belonging in india. and theres also a lot of fondness for the US coz thats where i made the greatest friends, had the most opportunity and i guess the place where i first felt independant and felt i have potential to do anything.

ok now that i have rambled like a mad person.

heres the "filmy quote of the day" from someone who im a big fan of (majorly paraphrased). heard it on koffee with karan (ok, i admit i do like that show)

"we, generally keep on talking about generation gap. Generation Gap is generally there becoz there is some kind of lack of respect. If as older pple, we understand there are certain things that our children know and we dont understand.... And, we should be humble enough and honest enough to be able to learn that from them..... And then there are certain things, that YOU better understand, which we know and they dont know. We enrich each other. Then there is no generation gap."
- Javed Akhtar on Koffee with Karan.

5 comments:

Alok 3:51 AM  

Well written!But when u grow up here, the street chaos, the road side vendor become a part of you, and u relize this max when u r away.

life of pi 4:59 PM  

alok: i know its really weird, you tend to miss such random things.

Inam 1:11 AM  

Life certainly has become all the more complex today. You get attached to one city/country and suddenly you've to move one, one feels like a nomad. I myself have changed several cities over the years.

As for your post here's an urdu couplet:

Baith jaata hun jaha chaaon ghani hoti hai
Hai kya cheez ghareebulwatani hoti hai

Ashraf's Pen 7:19 AM  

Its like this we are never satisfied with what we have. While many Indians would desire to live abroad, the reverse is true for NRI even more for their children.

My cousins who have been born and brought up in UK ,go crazy on trips to india. THey enjoy the confusion and the disorderliness. The porter running away with the luggage, haggling with vendors.On the other hand this exactly what their parent left for.

SO the paradox

pi,  6:04 PM  

inam: i agree sometimes when you move too much it becomes harder to feel some kind of attachment to a place. but there is always one place that you consider home, even though u may have lived there few years only.

ashraf: yea i agree with what your saying. once me and my dad were at this dubai heritage village and there was a well as part of the exhibit. and pple were marveling at it and reading the description etc. my dad was like now pple consider this "antiques" but back then it had no appeal. it was a hard life. i must sound so cliched with my skewed view of mumbai.=) by no means im trying to romanticize it.

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