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Independence Day (and a few trite remarks)
While reading through my blog entry from last year it struck to me how similar last year’s Independence Day was to today. This year 15th August fell on a Sunday, so while I was deprived of a long weekend that I made most of last year - this trivial (and stupid) detail did not make the day any less significant. It seems to have become a wont for me to start the day on 15th with A. R. Rahman’s Vande Mataram (unlike last year, Rimsky Korsakov and Mozart followed). Dressing in Khadi is another little act which seems to have become a habit (if occurrence of an act for second time in a row deems it a habit). Since some clichés are worth indulging in, I’ll spend a moment here reflecting on Independence Day. I’ll start with a little anecdote from 4 years ago. I was in Hong Kong at work with 3 colleagues from India and one from South Korea. Deepak of 4 years ago was lot fussy about getting Indian food than he is today (Deepak of today considers food and more importantly eating a wasteful formality for human survival and doesn’t give much heed to it as long as it is vegetarian). We had not had Indian food for 2 meals in a row and that was causing me to be grumpy. Since it was 15th August, I had an alibi for inveigling my colleagues into an Indian restaurant. So there I was standing at their cubicle and with a sly smile trying to proposition them into dining at an Indian joint.

“Ok folks lets go to an Indian restaurant today!”
“And why should we Deepak?”
“It is 15th August today! Independence Day!! That’s why!”

My colleagues had a look on their faces which indicated neither concurrence nor disagreement, till our Korean colleague spoke:

“Ah 15th August, it’s Independence Day for India? I didn’t know that! Guess what, today is also South Korea’s Independence Day!”

“Brilliant, lets eat at a Korean joint then!” sung my colleagues in chorus (much to my dismay) – jest and mischief clearly floating in their eyes.

In the end we did end up having Indian food, for our colleague from South Korea was a real gentleman and loved spicy Indian fare.

I always look back at this once incident with considerable embarrassment! (I also flush at having reduced Independence Day to a mere excuse to jostle for Indian food!).

I was born in free India and so were my parents. Having received independence on a platter will perhaps always keep me from appreciating the real importance of this day, though it does stir in me a sudden gush of patriotism. Over the last few years, thanks to having traveled abroad - both westwards and eastwards I’ve grown extremely fond of India. Nowhere have I seen such vast diversity of cultures, religions, languages, cuisines and traditions that our country has to offer. And yet there is a unique oneness about all of us, an invisible fabric that makes us all Indians.

I caught this panel at a small Sweetmeat shop cum eatery at Church Street, with the name of the shop written in several Indian scripts (and some foreign ones too!). The shopkeeper was reluctant to allow me to click but he did relent after a polite request:

And here is a movie poster I came across, which surprised me greatly. The poster is of a Tamizh (‘Gilli’) movie printed in both Kannada and Tamizh! The only rationale I have been able to come up with is that a lot of Tamizh speaking people in Bangalore can read Kannada but not Tamizh (vice versa is unlikely, though I could be wrong!). That the printer of the poster is an ardent admirer of Indian scripts is another explanation (though I have little doubt that it would hardly stand the test of logic). I am amazed because I’ve never seen the poster of a regional movie in two regional languages. A bilingual poster has always meant to me a poster in regional language plus English. Perhaps someone could enlighten me – I for one have little trouble reading either (though my mind was bemused at the choice of scripts for final interpretation and I don’t seem to recall which one it chose first).

p.s. My apologies to Sriram who after his recent experience would rather go to guillotine than watch Gilli again!

And at last, the cliché of all the clichés (but today the occasion calls for it!):

posted: 15.8.04


Beautiful Deepak! But why did you have to go and remind me of that movie?

By Blogger Sriram, at 15.8.04  

Hehe - and to think I just deleted my post on Independance Day coz I found it too trite, insignificant and stupid. ;-)

The image may be cliched, but it is also beautiful, as always!

By Blogger Geetanjali, at 16.8.04  


i have always wondered about what that invisible fabric is that makes us uniquely Indian. Is it the values that we learn in childhood or from our books or the invisible ques you pick up when you are growing up. i can offer you one example. the Houselp that we have had been with us for olast 25 yrs. i was a small boy when he joined us a cook. i was taught by my mother to call him Ganeshi Bhaiya. this is what i still call him though i have grown much older and have no longer a boy who used to be feeried by Ganeshi bhaiya on his cycle to his school.

i guess the humaness of this culture is what makes us unique. is it a surprise that Indians have not invaded any country or subjugated any culture.

there is something in the air of that country that tells me after i come back from an international trip "let it be"

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 16.8.04  

Hey Deepak,
cool post on Independence day. You have added one more fan to your list, who seems to agree and believe the same things you do. ;-). Hope to see u return the visit though - http://tarunsblog.blogspot.com. Cheers.

By Blogger phucker, at 18.8.04  

It's amazing to discover the non-techie skills of you... Photograph's and your narration are excellent... Keep Blogging...
-Balaji T

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 19.8.04  

The Spicy India..:-)


By Blogger సుధాకర్(శోధన), at 20.8.04  

Deepak, as usual good photographs. Kudos.

Dual language movie posters are common especially on border districts. For example, on the way from Chennai to Tirupati you will see posters of Telugu Movies in Telugu & Tamil in TN border districts and Tamil Movies posters in Tamil & Telugu in AP border districts.

By Blogger Venkatarangan TNC, at 26.8.04  

Excellent post deepak! BTW do you know, my mothers birthday is on Jan 26th (Republic day) and my sisters birthday is on Aug 15 (Independence day). My grandfather is a freedom fighter and a close friend of Mr. Kamaraj. My father has published a book about my grandpa but its a Tamil version (if not i would have send you a copy :) ).

Regarding .. Gilli, I seriously think that is one of the decent movie in recent times. Its a mega hit and I really loved it. For the money I spend for tickets I want to either laugh or enjoy the action/styles etc., and certainly don't want someone to come and preach me there :)

Might be sriram likes only "New" (name of a tamil movie) type movies lol (juz kidding)


By Blogger Vadivel, at 28.8.04  

Wow - you're blog is full of good info. It's getting hard to find blogs with useful content and people talking about Movie Poster these days. I have just started my Latest Movie Poster News blog and would really appreciate you coming by - thanks again

By Blogger paige, at 26.9.05  

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