Happy Independence Day with a twist

Ok, it’s our Independence day. It’s the day when India gained the freedom to make it’s own mistakes, to quote what Gandhiji had said once…

But I was not celebrating independence today. Woke up at 11 AM(11:30 PM in India, half an hour to the Midnight of that dawned…) and realized that the software companies in India had finished celebrating our Independence on the 14th as it was a working day. Then I got dressed and with a few friends, went out to Wal-Mart, apparently the most famous and amazingly cheap store of the US. The concept of Wal-Mart is inspiring but it’s fodder for another blog post, so, later…

The Bill was about $78 for three people(reason- we had a girl in our midst!).

While returning, we boarded a bus from outside Wal-Mart and told the driver to take us to the closest Bus Station. When we had settled, the driver started the bus and without turning, softly said to us three Indians- Happy Independence Day.

I looked at the driver. He was an American. He was educated. He was an educated enough American to know that three Indians had boarded his bus. He did not assume that we were Pakistanis. He knew for sure that we were Indians. I know this as he said that Pakistan had gained independence a day before us and all he had noticed was that we were speaking in Hindi.

So here I was, sitting in the heart of the US of A with two Indian friends and getting wished by an American on a date which is of grave consequence for every Indian and which we had completely forgotten about. For a second, it was a haze. Was this true? Was this happening? Really? Wow.

I looked at my friends. They were as amazed as I was. This was weird beyond a great degree. I talked to the driver a bit more. He knew a bit about India but a lot more than one would expect him to know. He knew we had a bit of a tiff with the Chinese. He knew we had a nuclear bomb, though not the year when we got it. That was a piece of fact even I didn’t remember! He even had a stereotypical view about some clans in India. I was glad to clarify that India has never been a nation of Attackers but instead defenders. We only retaliated in case there was a threat against us. He was glad to have to talked to me. I was still in shock when our destination came.

I got down. The air was fresh, the wind was a light breeze and caressed my face with a loving touch. The sky was a deep blue color with the clouds playing with the setting sun. This was a foreign nation. Back in my country, people we getting up and wishing each other a Happy Independence Day. I looked at my friends and wished them a Happy Independence Day, with a twist.

And But: The Negativity Syndrome

A positive thought by a dear friend of mine was recently posted on FaceBook… It was indeed, a beautiful thought about the amazing power of Love to disregard any fallacies or blemishes in the nature or character of the person you love deeply. That is because it is true that when you become completely vulnerable to a person, expose yourself completely and let Love fill up all the vacancy in your heart, a few flaws will not stop you from loving ever more. You can see that prime example in our parents. Most of them are from an arranged marriage, an institution where you never know what narrow mindedness or insecurities lie at the back of your partners head and from the time where our parents come, the dictionaries did not hold the word divorce. Does this mean that they are not happy and always fighting?? Not at all. That is the beauty of their alliance. They accepted the other person with open arms and an open heart, truly showing their broadmindedness and believed in their lawfully wedded partner, giving them a chance to love deeply and strongly. These only, later on become the qualities of a good parent, loving their child enough to overlook the small errors they make yet being responsible enough to set them on the right path.

But what does this mean for the present generation? What does the above discussion tell us about how much do we truly love? I discovered the answer while trying to comment about the beauty and validity of the thought posted by my friend. I wanted to start by saying that I agreed with her and so I started with a “True…” This is where it struck me. My mind is so attuned to thinking in the negative that the only word which could have followed in my line of thought was a ‘But’.But is that the right word?? Masters of Group Discussion often tell us that the polite way of making a point during a GD is to say, “Indeed” or  “I agree” or “True” and then append your thought after that, because you acknowledge the previous person’s contribution and yet go on to make your point clear. The sum total of that comes out to be, “True, And…” However, my thoughts were coming to be “True, But…”

Indeed, that is a dilemma, wanting to say Yes but ending up saying No. I sat there,thinking for a minute about what I wanted to say but not quite able to form a decision, left dumbfounded by the fact that my thoughts were negative even in the glaring face of positivity and happiness. I worried about what could be inferred from this discovery and what it meant for my counterparts all over the world. Does it mean that we are doomed to become extremely negative faced with extreme environmental conditions both natural and psychological? Does it mean that there is a limit after which everything the mind sees it believes there to be a downside to? Does it mean that the years of violence both in games and in the News, of competitive nature in sports and studies alike, of believing in the amount of harm of Allopathic medicine and the impotence of Alternative ones and of studying the great World Wars yet starting new ones, has left Man dumb towards the beauty and magic of Nature, solemn to the glory of Man and a polar opposite to the Positivity of Hope, the essence of Humanity? If it has, then there is no knowing when this fragile mind will crumble under a set of beliefs which would sicken any psychiatrist. Because the true Question here is whether you will add an “And” or a “But”. Because that will tell us what we are thinking and how we are reacting to Life. Because that will tell us whether there is Hope.

After a lot of thought, I simply typed in the following words… “True… and beautiful!”