Yesterday was my country's sixtieth birthday. For me, it was a chance to catch up on some sleep. Don't get me wrong. I'm as concerned about where this country's headed as the next person is; maybe even a little bit more than most people. But I don't get very charged up about watching speeches on television and then being force-fed advertisements about how every major company on this planet is running purely in order to benefit India. And then my old disease makes a comeback. I'm talking about irreverence. Let me give you an instance.
Yesterday all the television channels were choc-a-bloc with programmes extolling our nation's greatness and I was laughing through it all. What kept flashing in my mind was this slapsick show that used to come on television a long time ago. It used to consist of parodies of famous Hindi films. It wasn't particularly sophisticated comedy, but then I've never been much of a sophisticate, and anyone who knows me will readily attest to my predilection for laughing (loudly) at just about everything, and sometimes nothing at all. Phew. Long sentence.
My favourite episode in this series was a parody of Mera Gaon, Mera Desh. As you may have guessed, the parody was titled "Mera Gown, Mera Dress". It had a Dharmendra prototype discovering an ancestral gown and then deciding to wear only that for the rest of his life. I crack up every time I remember that strapping gentleman in a ghastly velvety blue gown, exclaiming lustily,"Aaj se mera gown mera dress hai". I was laughing all of yesterday as well. I guess after sixty years, people should be able to be irreverent about serious things like freedom as well. It'll be a healthy counterforce to all the fake jingoism that masquerades in the guise of patriotism these days.
P.S.: - I really wish that a day would come when I would stop whining, but I don't think that it's ever gonna happen. My latest gripe is this nagging feeling that I'm living a half life. It just doesn't go away.