Untouched silence of night is shaken into sudden chaos by a hail of fireworks and crackers that thursts mighty forces of darkness and radiance into an unspoken combat. The curtain of sky shines with an effervescent brightness on the surface, but the chaotic noise trembles peace out of pleasant stars sleeping deeper within.
Another innocent victim of this electric voilence in the sky seems to be my poor grandmother who is abruptly nudged out of her deep sleep in a similar way. Confused and flustered, partly in land of nods still, she mutters to herself faintly, “Must be an India-Pakistan cricket match!” and plunges into her disrupted sleep again. Her words, though uttered under spell of sleep, carry enough wisdom to hover around me for the rest of night.
Prior to this, nation had beheld an exhaustive and eventful day with the counting of electoral numbers happening in festive swing. By the end of the day, I had interestingly been a witness to several manifestations of the country. The first version of my India presented itself on TV screens, now for several days, lying agitated in rise and fall of exit polls previously and counted votes presently, dissected by dominant emotions of extravagant festivities on one corner with despair reeling on the other. In the light of this significant day, aroma in the morning therefore seemed mysterious.
The second version of India unfurled itself in fellow students of my college who, to my surprise, had suddenly risen to a mammoth welcome of hibernating nationalism that had visited them after half a decade. Until now, I had usually found them glued to their mobile screens, relishing on delights of their social media accounts and periodically distressed on statistics of their Instagram followers, least acquainted with the proceedings of nation. Surprisingly, today, they were weighing on votes and not so unexpected results and were occasionally banging the benches in impulse of their excitement too, as numbers turned to their favour. “Big day indeed”, my mind whispered.
On my way to home, I come across little girls with babies lugged on their sides, selling goods in scorching heat, their rights to education and opportunities robbed by inabilities to amend their accidental births, old men and women asking for alms while failing to make the ends meet and children employed as easy aids on shops and grocery stores. Diseased and debilitated, the third version of my India, I see in these destitute people surviving the trials and troubles unwaveringly on roadsides, untouched and immune to overarching prominence of politics. They probably cannot name the Prime Minister of the country, let alone know the significance of the day yet that must not deprive them of their rights to envision and dream a better country to live in. “How useful has country’s turbulent politics therefore been to them?” my mind wondered.
Having run across diverse manifestations of my country on this significant day, I finally repose to peace with tides of clashing thoughts sprouting and erupting in my mind, thus incubating the final version of my India in me; one that is agreeing to ask and eager to listen, that is build on acceptance of thoughts and mutual assistance, that debates and dissents to construct better paths of progress for the citizens and where results of democratic elections donot divide us like outcomes of a cricket game. Clustering these random thoughts in the nest of my brain, with sleep painting my eyes already, I welcome the fireworks of night while dreaming of a nation that is beautifully united with the colourful amalgam of diversities, differing shapes of moon and always a vibrant sunrise.