Free people.

Last week I did blog, despite pretending to not want to. Last week’s writeup was a little embarrassing as I had written it in a sleepy, semi-conscious state. My apologies for that one.

Today, fellow human beings, was the republic day of my country( India). So I woke up to several patriotic songs ringing in the air. Almost all buildings have those eardrum piercing music systems nowadays.

Republic day. Right. These two words mean different things for different people in this country.

For Flipkart,Jabong, Myntra and Amazon, it means a republic day mega sale where you fool people into buying grossly ,arbitrarily overpriced products at prices much higher than their real price by dangling in front of them, a ” flat 50 percent off!”.

For several wives of soldiers who died fighting for this country, it means receiving the paramveer chakra from president Mukherjee on behalf of their dead husbands. People in the army hardly get to live. Because people like you and me have to. And their families live without them. As I saw a soldier’s wife collecting the paramveer chakra on behalf of her husband, I saw a stoic ness, a different pain in her countenance. It was crystal clear, her disappointment with life. And this clarity had nothing to do with a clear TV screen, this is something any fellow human being can know. Feel. And yet , this woman , this brave woman, had this look of acknowledgment and pride. Something that said she was ready to handle whatever life will throw at her and live well even without her better half– her dead warrior, just acknowledging his memory.

All this apart , for most people it is showing up in the flag hoisting ceremony wearing white or tricolour themed clothes. Changing their watsapp statuses to “Happy republic day “( there will be a visual of the tricolour too). And then Facebook statuses I guess. Instagram. Snapchats with flags in the backgrounds. Selfies.

And for many children , this day means shouting patriotic and religious songs into the mike so that they can make people realise that they have been taking singing classes. Something their parents encourage them to do, to let others know that they are very, very talented children. My bad I can’t tell them to shut up. After all, they are free people. Little free people, to be precise.

So by now you must have realised that all I want to say is that we all have different ways of celebrating this day. But sometimes I think we really forget that the essence of this day is in developing independent, free thought. Ideas, which think not for only the brain and body that contains them, but also for those around them. The ideas that make us go beyond media induced propagandas ( like in those “sales”). Ideas that make us feel for those who protect our country day and night. Ideas which make us feel like the way those great people felt for our country. Ideas that make us live and let live. That help us acknowledge that everyone is entitled to the freedom that you are entitled to.

Happy republic day everyone. May you all be free!

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