Friday, August 6, 2010

A younger sister's lament

Submitted for the Blogadda,
"Mera Bharat Mahaan" contest.

At 63, India has become like Mumbai, fast, glamourstruck, drunk and focussed on money, power, and attitudes, with no time for anyone lagging behind. Somewhat like some people I see at this stage of my life (61), so focussed and drunk on individual sucess, they are almost a deserted island themselves.

But there is also an India , out in the hinterland, where they work hard, slog, and still take delight in the prize going to someone else, because he or she is part of them all; the land, the rivers, the greens, browns, and the people.....

We grew up together,
This Country and I;
She elder to me
by two...

Nursery years
spent in wide eyed
getting educated;
me in school,
and she,
in the
Beginnings of Governance.

Like a child,
totally trusting
of it's parents
There was
a sense of belief
and trust;
Tall leaders,
across regions
A sense of
in the growing up
bringing up
of a country.

The roads forked.
The road less travelled
was mine.
More was her's.
So divergent,
you would think,
The Mai-Baap were different.

concerned about my values,
my education,
yet sacrificing;
but the country
has been swamped,
with leaders
who think
Truth is old fashioned,
Work is Jingling pockets,
Communication, means Threats,
means getting photographed
standing holding hands
in chains with others,
you don't understand

but were paid to do.

T'was as if
and Freedom
One a freedom
given on a platter
red with sacrifices;
grabbed by
a teenager
running wild,
a glare
of an older eye.

Education ? Pay up !
Transport ? Wait . You're late ...
Examinations ? Cheat.
Job? Who is your uncle ...
Food ? Starving is in Style..
Rotten de Foie Gras...

Communication ? its your choice,
Guns, Abuse, Blackberries ?
Sports ? Are you mad ?
Building stadiums
and crashing deals
gets you more.....
Religion ? Abuse, misuse....
No fear of God, but fear of Power....
Rules ? Make them , break them !

Work ? Grades ?
You can get one without the other.
and there is nothing to evaluate,
so you pass.
man with the cushioned chair,
and towel on his chair,
puts a red mark
against you,
black in his pocket.

But somewhere,
in this ocean
of misgovernance,
are a few waves,
still making a difference.

who still remain
in public health,
treating the maladies
of too little amidst too much,
brushing aside
"bypass"ing riches;


who feel
it's Divali and Christmas,
when the
young diffident chap
exults over passing,
an exam on sheer grit...

who fight,
for those who cannot spell "fee",


who spend weekends,
coaching those,
threatened by alphabets,

who share their books
and toys,
with the kid
with the shining face
and hopeful eyes;

Young professionals

who spend weekends,
ecstatic at the success
of an older lady
they taught,
who learned to read;


who work,
on their own,
to bring
drinking water ,
to folks who
simply had a dried up river.....
miles away

The answer is very simple.

Many moons ago,
We were WE;

amidst the
Pseudosmart SMS's,
Designer words,
Acted attitudes,
Role Playing,
Ego money-massagers
Asset Accumulators,
We are "I".....

The answer
my friend,
doesn't blow in the wind,
what little
you get in the concrete labyrinths
of a crumbling city;

It's right here !

It's not Mera Bharat Mahan.

It's Hamara Bharat Mahan ......


  1. Suranga, absolutely loved this! Particularly the lines-

    'It's not Mera Bharat Mahan.

    It's Hamara Bharat Mahan ......'

  2. What a wonderful poem, Suranga. Such truths.
    Yes, it has to be Hamaara Bharat.

  3. manju, Dipali

    Thank you ! Notice how what is officially publicised is always "mera" and not "hamara". Strangely, the Bajaj scooter was always advertised as Hamara Bajaj and never Mera...:-)....

  4. I love the way you weaved the words..& your take as a younger sister is so innovative & lends a warm feeling to the heart.And yes its we who should play our role well & bring back the WE while curbing the I :)
    great post!

  5. well must say its awsome specially da lats two lines.........

    i got lot of things to learn frm u....

    well im new in the world of blogging so if u get time please go through my post nd give some comments so dat i can improve.

  6. Suranga this is a thoughtful and thought-provoking write-up:economy of words coupled with expansiveness of thoughts-a sure winner.
    Love your blog.

  7. Dear Suranga,

    Happy Independence Day.

    Every word you penned is same as my mom told me. She tells me about the prabhat ferys they had weeks before independence and republic day singing patriotic songs and going to different villages to serve. She says she saw the feeling of "we" and "our country" morphing into "my" and "whose country"...

    Even I saw it happening though I am little older than half your age. The enthusiasm we had as middle school children to participate in the indpendence and republic day parades and patriotic song comepetions etc., just evaporated by the time I was in high school by college only NCC kept us glued to nationalism.

    You are right still there is hope there are few who'll stay back to give a helping hand when every body else has stepped on you to climb high...

    Desi Girl

  8. Beautiful poem, Ugich. 'Humara Bharat Mahan' sums up the value of this testament to this beautiful nation that you have written.

  9. wisedonkey, whisperingsilence, sagar, varsha, desigirl,D2

    Thank you. Greatly appreciate the kind words....