How should I begin? Dear, dearest? You have been a part of me and I have been an atom of your vast fabric. Even after living in another great country of America for so many years, my allegiance to you has been unequivocal. But, today after finding out about the recent tragedy of at least twenty-two children dead in one of your eastern states of Bihar, I am hoping that I can still find reasons to love you unconditionally as I always have.
I have grown up with your limitations; I have learned from the adversity that comes with it. I have learned the significance of a bucket of clean water and I have cherished the availability of twenty-hour electricity after coming to United States. I have felt fortunate that I hail from the land of largest democracy where most religions, cultures, cuisines coexist. I have considered it to be my strength that I bow whenever I pass a church, mosque or a temple emphatically in spite of being a Hindu and that I have learned about all the major religions and their customs as a part of my school curriculum. I think other countries can learn from that. And supporting so many ideas, thoughts, dogmas and gaps between them brings challenges of its own and you are fighting a battle that is long, tiring and often seems unending.
When the newspaper say that Delhi is a rape capital, I feel ashamed for I started my life in that glorious, historic city after my graduation. I have wandered in its nooks and corners which are no longer safe even in broad daylight. When the TV channels show nothing but corruption busts day after day, hour after hour, I find my devotion for you lessening. When innocent, poor kids who come to school in the hope of finding meals and some education – they are greeted by empty sheds and poisonous food instead of teachers. I feel hurt. You are not just all this. You are much more. But for the same reason, as all around the world today, you are finding yourself amidst the greatest obstacles of poverty, over population and greed resulting in corruption of body and soul.
I wonder if it all started for me, because I left. I left in the hope of better life style, better opportunities and much more for myself. I did not think about you. I did not think if staying back was something I should have done. Then, even if I had complained of your deficiencies, I’d be working towards to alleviate them. I’d not be lowering my head, thousands of miles away but doing something about it. However, on the flip side, had I not come here, I’d not have realized many virtues of living – being compassionate for the most of all. I believe it my combined presence there and here that has given me a better understanding of you and what it means to be patriotic. Yet I feel torn today. I often catch myself thinking of your plight and if I should have stayed back to make a difference to at least one life. I would never know.
In the meantime, I can pray for the lost souls and grieving families; I can hope for your glory to come back someday and I can wish that you stay close to my heart as you always have.
Above post is written in response to Daily prompt: Flip FLop