– By Ashith K (Formals Team)
Here I am, sitting at the most beautiful place in Mangalore, the city I call home. The iconic huge rock sitting idle on the shores of Someshwara beach getting pounded by the ferocious yet serene Arabian Sea. The wind is blowing with all its might as though it wants to blow the paper away from my hand. The sound of kids playing and their mothers shouting, telling them not to step into the water just adds the final touches to the beauty of the place. Nothing in the world could have troubled me at this place but today seems to be different as the words of my classmate throbs inside my head as though wanting to be answered, “What has India done to me? Why should I be proud of my corrupt nation? I should have been born in a place like America…” I have always said that I am proud of my nation but today I realize that I’ve never really given any second thought as to why I do so.
People like Mahatma Gandhi, Subhash Chandra Bose, Chandrashekhar Azad fought for our nation to gain independence. Thousands of people lost their lives in the struggle for independence. Why did they fight for our country? What had the country done for them so that they left their so called peaceful lives and took a path riddled with thorns, never knowing whether their efforts would ever be rewarded.
Our defense forces guard our nation, whose border is engulfed by all that Mother Nature can possibly throw at us: The Thar Desert, The Himalayas, The Sea and the Ocean and The Bay of Bengal, and not to forget the mangrove forests of the Sundarbans. The history of our forces are filled with stories of heroism, courage and the never back down spirit, even in the face of highest ordeals. They have lived up to the expectations each and every time we wanted them to, even at the cost of their own lives. The Special Forces like NSG, the Army’s elite paratroopers, the Navy’s world class MARCOS (marine commandos) and the Air Force’s Garud commandos are a force to be reckoned with and are at par with the best in the world if not better. The Indian Army guards our nation in places like Siachen, where temperatures can go as low as –50 degree C. I’ve seen the difficulties the Navy has to face as I was a Naval NCC Cadet and was also given an opportunity to ride on the high seas by the Eastern Naval Command INS CIRCARS at Vishakhapatnam onboard the Indian Navy’s amphibious warship vessel INS Magar. Even they are humans, even they have got families. What is it that makes them offer such a sacrifice? Why do they do it people for like us, who don’t even spare a second thought for them? What would have happened if these people, the true heroes, felt the same?
We are the world champions of cricket and have given the world the greatest cricketer of all time, Sachin Tendulkar. The person who gave each and everyone joy every time he came out to bat. The straight drive, the cover drive, the leg glance and every other shot he played will always be missed. The six he hit against Shoaib Akhtar’s bowling in the 2003 world cup will always continue to be a special memory in the hearts of Indian cricket lovers. Cricket can’t ever be the same without him.
Books like The Bhagavad-Gita, The Srimad Bhagavatam, and The Vedas continue to give knowledge for those who try to seek the truth. These continue to sing the song of the Lord in a society which is embracing the western culture more and more by the passing minute, forgetting its own rich cultural heritage. The solutions to every problem we face today lie in these scriptures. The flora and fauna of the nation are also things to be proud of. May it be the majestic tigers or the gigantic elephant, India’s glory continues to marvel.
Similar to what was shown in the movie Rang De Basanti, I believe that, “My country is not perfect, we have to make it one”. No country is. As a mechanical engineer, you learn that no matter how much you try to give a metal surface a smooth finish, microscopically, it’ll still contain flaws. You have to learn to live with them and try your best. The people who truly are heroes and adventurous will never want to be born in a perfect nation because then they’ll have nothing to contribute.
As the sun slowly starts to dip in the now reddish sea, the fact that my country is truly incredible continues to seep in. I’ll never know whether my friend will think the same as I do. But one thing is for certain – the entropy of the universe will always keep increasing and similarly, India will continue to develop and maybe one day it will be perfect. But now it’s time for me to take a dip…