We threw out the British 62 years ago on August 15 and internalised colonialism.
Yes, they unfurled flags today. Yes, they sang patriotic songs. Yes, the PM made a speech from a derelict monument created by the Mughals, who we hate the most. Yes, we are so happening. We proudly export talent and kids of Indian origin win Spelling Bee contests and land up among the top few in American Idol. We applaud.
I know there are parties held in the big cities where the martinis will be as frozen as the stares in high storey apartments where the menu will be “specially Indian” as though they are talking about another world. The ‘pilaf’ will be a cute three-coloured one to represent the national flag and women and men in scarves and shawls will throw orange, green and white in faces lightened by chemical peels. Lightening creams are for those who don’t matter. Dogs.
One quarter of the country is suffering from drought. Yeah, baby. India is dry. You will need a lot of time with her.
I can still hear the words, “Kuttey Kaminey” as a celluloid hero thrashes a villain. It is always the muscular hero who utters those words. Weird.
Today, the underbelly is the belly – lean, mean and weaned on crime and cruelty. This is the face we want to hide as Sacred Spaces lecture us on how to give our souls a high-five. Enlightenment is borrowed. Search is not seeking but a website engine. Google moksha. But you can't deny this: Dogs are barking and biting. And man does bite dog because that dog is someone like him. The dirty streets are not only full of faeces but people we call Nobodies.
They aren’t slaves because they are trysting with destinies the hard way. Strays with meanness in their marrows. Films are recognising them. A recent movie is called Kaminey. One review ended hilariously with the line: “Tarantino, take a bow. Brave new Bollywood is here”!
How can we be new and brave when we are asking Them to take a bow for what one of Us has created? Here are the real slaves. Walking, talking, mocking others when they want to be these smart shits. It isn’t pulp fiction. It is real and vicious. It is also independent India. See it before someone from Hollywood decides to seep through the sore pores of my country. Let us use ourselves. A hero who says, "Read my lisp”.
India is free because it can look down on him. He lets us do it because he knows he is needed. We are free. We shoot strays, don’t we?
Kaminey - Dhan Te Nan
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(The image of the flag on top is of the first stamp of independent India)