I decided to move back to India (from London) on this day, six years ago. At the time I’d been living abroad for little over nine years. It was 2011 and even though there were many a reason to stay back in London, I wanted to return.
It was the time of ‘reverse brain drain’ i.e. successful Indian professionals from world-over were returning to India. The future was bright and hopes up.
Personally for me, it wasn’t just about the future prospect. It was as much about being struck by nostalgia. Nostalgia of being back in my own country – to my family, to an ancient land of great and profound philosophy, to my people who continue to thrive regardless of the chaos and challenges which our infrastructure presents.
In retrospect, six years may not be too long in calendar years but it does seem like an eternity now. These past few years have perhaps been some of the most tumultous in India’s recent history. And to be perfectly honest, on several occasions I’ve been left disillusioned with the state of ur society and our governance.
Yet, here comes the Republic Day. We see our Defence Forces march with pride, remember the sanctity of our Constitution, take great joy in our genuine democracy, enjoy our freedom of speech and above all count our blessings to have the privilege of our unique culture and heritage.
Dissatisfactions aside, today my hopes are up (once again) and the words which keep resonating in my mind are from Muhammad Iqbal’s patriotic song “Saare Jaan Se Accha” –
Yunan -o-mistr-o-roma sab mit gaye jahan se,
Ab tak magar hai baki nam-o-nishan hamara.
Kuchh baat hai ki hasti mit-ti nahi humari,
Sadiyon raha hai dushman daure zaman humara.
A rough translation in English would be :
In a world in which ancient Greece, Egypt, and Rome have vanished without a trace only India has continued to live on today. There must be something incredible about our existence for it doesn’t get wiped out even though the world has been our enemy.
Inspiring and optimistic, are they not!
Enthused by these words I spent the last couple of hours surfing, browsing and reading whatever I could find to fuel my patriotic fervour. In the process I found these ten quotes of iconic philosophers, scientists and thinkers which I loved. And I hope that these would fill your heart with as much pride as it does mine.
Here’s to patriotic pride …