Over the years the word, AZZAADII….,has seen tremendous change. The spelling itself is the hint of it. Earlier it was used mostly for a community or on a much broader spectrum but lately it has survived meticulously in the hands of “I”. Its more like “Meri Aazzaadi” or “My Freedom” rather than “Hamari Azzadi”or “Our Freedom.”
”I” can never make up for a “We” yet we always prefer “I” to more than anything else. Even among friends, colleagues, batch mates, kitty groups, political group, sports team and any place you can think of one or two “Is” are always heavier on the “We”. In fact “I” evolves with each day. And the worst part is even if we realize it we cannot do much about it. “I” becomes an inevitable part of “We”.
“So what are your plans this INDEPENDENCE DAY?” I asked an adult. Mind it, an adult is a person who has the right to vote (Don’t go by the age, education or experience). He smiled. The wicked smile that conveyed hundred messages without speaking a word. I understood the smile without any hesitation but I wanted to hear from him.
“Don’t you know? Oh come on. I shall go out on a weekend trip and party around till Monday morning. Then back to square one.”
“Nah! I am not in school anymore. It’s for the school goers and uniform people. Why bug me man??”
“No. No. Listen! You just said INDEPENDENCE DAY is only for Army and school children? ”
He smiled again showing his guttka stained teeth.“Yes I did. Chill maar. Mazza kar. Mein azzad hoon na. Aur kya?”
The words made me cry. Has INDEPENDENCE DAY, 15th Aug a new meaning now? “Mein azzad hoon”
“So you will do nothing?”
“Oh yeah! I will post pictures on my facebook page about patriotism. Maybe if I feel like I shall post few lines of “MAA TUJHE SALAM” on my blog too. You wait and watch for the likes on my post, man!!”
“But won’t you like to attend the flag hosting ceremony in the mohalla. ”
“Yeah Yeah! Wearing traditional dress huh! We just celebrated that in our office yesterday. You can skip my name from the list please.”
“How about Holi and Diwali? You go out on trip?”
“Paagal hai kya (Are you mad)? Mummy toh mar dalegi (Mom will kill me). Those are festivals.”
“Hain to post kar raha hai na picture facebook mein (I am posting picture on facebook).”
I left him there and moved on. But thoughts dwelled in my mind. Will I do the same thing or mark my attendance in traditional attire for the INDEPENDENCE CEREMONY in my muhalla (colony)?
Really we are ready to celebrate “our Independence” on the social sites but not in the locality. Maybe nobody does. Who cares? It’s just another holiday to bask in the sun or play nukkad cricket or may be watch an entertainment free blockbuster. What we celebrate is “Meri AAZZADI”.