The 15th day of August, 2008.
India awoke 61 years ago at the stroke of midnight this very day.
I awoke at 5 am though, I had a 6 hour Financial Management class (no shit!) to look forward to.
Independence Day has unfortunately been “just another day off” for me all these years. Except for the one time in 9th standard when we bullied and begged people living around my school to donate blood (I will unashamedly say that I even managed to get a hooker to donate. Skill!), I doubt I have done anything worthwhile. It was looked forward to only because it was a mandatory Government Holiday. Sometimes I wish I was more patriotic, in a practical way, like working around in charities and blood donation drives etc, in my spare time instead of trying to break my own record for longest time a person can stare at the ceiling (personal record – 2 hours!) and assessing the differences between blowing bubble gum bubbles and chewing gum bubbles. I haven’t been able to contribute to society as much as I’d like to, clearly.
Today was different though. I learnt what real freedom was.
Yes, freedom. It feels like butterscotch-nut-icecream and big-snuggly-bear-hugs and god-of-war-II-special-attack-moves rolled in one, I kid you not.
I hadn’t charged my phone the previous night and the night before, which meant my battery was beyond low. My morning alarm was the last straw. Apple’s automated owner abuse messages started popping up (Warning! only 10% battery!) but I decided to take it to class anyway. Halfway through class, I realized I didn’t know where it was. Panic! Thankfully, Mom later found it in the backseat of the car and I got this “You don’t deserve a phone” lecture and then she decided not to give it to me. My break was getting over (It was a 45 minute breakfast break and I had rushed home to take a shower. Class can make you get pretty ripe, if you know what I mean) but gave them my “sorry” face anyway. Didn’t work. So I left without my phone.
Class got over at 1 (After much pleading and “Pleeeeease Pattaaaaabhi sirrr”s). And just like that, I was out, in the awesomer part of the city (Nungambakkam!) and I didn’t have my phone, ie –
Amma couldn’t call me to ask me where I was.
Amma couldn’t call me to ask when I was coming back home.
Amma couldn’t call me to ask me to come home ASAP instead of wasting time hanging about.
Amma couldn’t call!!
I was free. Free to do what I wanted. Free to go to my favourite book store. Free to buy stuff. Free to have lunch where ever I wanted. FREE. Free, I tell you. It felt delicious! It was at that moment I realized what Gandhi & Co had sacrificed for. It took my own irresponsibility (tossing my phone about in the car) to absorb the actual magnitude of the feeling of freedom. I think I was frozen, but only for a moment, and I had to break free from my newfound thought flow more so because this was on the middle of the main road and an auto guy was honking really hard and pointing and saying, well, nasty things.
But I made Mr.Honk-honk-honk stop and made him take me home anyway. As I handed out the cash I owed to him, he looked up and asked me –
“Yenma, Inikki Sugandhira dhinam dhaane?”
(Today is independance day right?)
“Sun TV-la inikki saaingaalam enna special padam?”
(Whats the special movie on Sun TV today?)
Happy Independance Day.
Me: Amma, Appa, see see! I took this photo! It’s awesome no? I took, I took!
Amma: Oh its a nice picture. I’ll tell you why, its because I was the one who made the coffee and poured it in the tumbler so perfectly. Who else will make such good coffee?
Appa: Don’t listen to your mother, the picture is good only because I got the camera. See, Sony DSC H9 quality. Who got the camera? I did, see, thats why the picture is awesome.
Although its a little known fact, it so happened that a bunch of Gujjus were living downstairs to Shakespeare’s home. Whenever Shakespeare practised late into the night and disturbed their sleep, they were obviously not happy. Kokilaben in particular, got extremely annoyed at Ol’ Bill. So she went up to his house and told him straight in the face “Ahem.You is the doing too much naaise. Shutting up please”
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Gujjus Ahemmed-the-Bard.
This is original. really.
Please dont hit me.