Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Patriotism and Campooter Scanning


It's been 65 years of independence for India. 1947 this day that year, people tasted freedom for the first time in 200-300 odd years. It meant a lot to the India then, being their own nation. We have a long way to go in terms of development. We have a lot of behaviour issues. Like that of a child that's been given too much attention. Yet we are proud to say it is us (or a couple hundred politicians) who decide our own fate. We are a proud democratic family.

I was walking to an admin office in my university looking to submit my loan documents. If it went well, if they took my papers to be clean - it would be my independence day. I wouldn't need dad to pay anything for my final year at college. Having a bunch of friends who are on scholarship and hence being on their own, makes you insecure. Especially when 'you' is me. Being independent is what I consider as the first step towards my self satisfaction. The daughter of a man who is proud of having built his life/business without his dad's help. The daughter of a woman who lost her father at an young age and hence made a lot of critical decisions by herself. It's not very surprising I turned out this way, much to my mother's annoyance though.

Life has a funny way of twisting things you want and playing around with it - dragging your leg a bit, making you think its not what you want and then a while later giving that same thing to you (sometimes).

So while I was thinking how cool it would be to get my loan fixed the same day as India's Independence day, life decides to make a point. To make its stand and say it is the deciding authority of a typical day's coolness - not me.

The woman sitting at the counter looked at my papers and looked at my face. She pauses for two seconds before she continues.

'Where is the passport copy of your guarantor?'

'I need it? I did not know that'

'Yes that and yours as well'

'Oh alright I'll..'

She jumps into my sentence silencing my voice. Like the way water hushes frying onions in a pan.

'Do they have a computer there? Do they know how to use it and scan a passport? Ask them to do that and you can print it here'

She offers her smart campooter usage advice.

My alter-ego just could not take it. Like Rose's bike rider alter-ego chick with wild condescending hair. (Such a perfect alter-ego image, btw)

'Hey *** firstly India is not in the 1400s and secondly, you need a scanner not a computer to scan'

I didn't say anything obviously. I just looked at her, grabbed my papers and completed my sentence.

'..I'll get it tomorrow'

I was raged. It was a very small instance. She probably meant it all in good will. Indian national girl looking to submit loan documents. Must be very poor. Her country is pretty poor and illiterate as well. Let me help her out and give her the most efficient way to send a file over.

I apologize for what some may interpret as false pride. I can't appreciate her kindness. It was judgemental and unnecessary. I might be exaggerating but it is what I truly feel.

Times like these fuel the fire within to inspire change in India. Little gestures like this make me think about my selfishness in having left the country.

We'll make it happen. We'll get there. Every dog has its day.

In the mean time, I have a request to friends and family. Don't destroy the image the world has of your country with your own words. I know a girl who goes around telling her international friends that Indian girls get married when they touch 14. If you really do have to share interesting facts, atleast try putting them under the heritage/culture light. I would be gracious and spared from 'So are you married?' questions.

Happy Independence day folks!

Let's begin at our own homes :) Hope it made you think, about your patriotism for your country!

No comments: