I come from a land where…
…A subcontinent surprises.
And contradictions confuse and confound.
…Saints and seers,
scientists and skeptics,
Sanskrit and supercomputers & space research
coexist in parallel.
…Holi, Ganpati, Diwali, Eid and Christmas
are celebrated like nowhere else.
Where religion is worn on one’s sleeve
but faith is a personal matter.
…The beacon of Unity in Diversity still shines bright.
…Our tricolor is increasingly taking on a saffron hue.
…The five rivers of the Punjab,
and the Ganga and Brahmaputra
and the Godavari, Cauvery, Krishna
stream forth from the Himalayas and Vindhyas.
…The desert beauty of Rajasthan and Ladakh
stands stark against the lushness of Kerala and the Northeast.
The magnificence of forts & palaces & temples
stands wall to wall with the hopeless hovels of the hapless.
…We boast beaches, backwaters, forests, boundless nature.
Tigers, elephants, peacocks, a myriad varieties of flora and fauna.
…We are fiercely traditional, yet look up to the West.
The culture of the cradle of civilization
confluences with trends of the 21st century.
…Masalas and spice add their distinct flavours to daily life.
And mithai makes it sweeter.
…Neighbours cannot understand each other’s tongues.
But speak a common language.
…The homeless and the hungry
still smile in spite of their wretchedness
and have hope in change.
…Passions and the senses overpower.
But there is an underlying calm.
…One foot is boldly striding forward into the future
But always followed by two meek steps back.
…Where the disparate, the dichotomies,
the dualities are all visible in one sweep of the eye.
Where stereotypes meet myth-busters.
…The fairness of the face
is being besmirched by unsightly new blemishes
and is being sought to be touched up by superficial remedies.
…Which is beyond definition,
which is forever an evolving work-in-progress.
Happy Independence Day, Bharat-vasis, enjoy these two goosebump-y songs!