Cliche alert. I don’t often say all of this aloud. I am too busy cribbing about everything under the sun to really notice my blessings.
The freedom to work where I want to, live and travel how and where I want to, wear what I choose to, say what I think, surf the websites I want to, read what I like, eat where I like, choose to have faith or not. That is what freedom means to me. I am free to have an opinion, useless or not, and I do. I can be politically incorrect in my country and still get away with it. But I would be a hypocrite to endlessly crib about the government until I cast my vote at least once.
India to me means Chandani Chowk – with a gurudwaara, a temple, and a masjid in very close quarters of each other. Freedom to me means never feeling obliged to enter even one of them. Or choosing to visit all three, metaphorically speaking, if I want to. Being an Indian means having a house full of Madhubani paintings, a kitchen full of Kerala spices, commuting in local trains in Bombay, and dealing with auto drivers in Bangalore.
No shrill patriotism for me. I am just glad I am a middle class Indian in India. There is nothing holding back my freedom and my opinion. How and whether I use it, is my choice.
Happy Independence Day!
Image courtesy: http://brontides.com/