Being UnIndian..!

With patriotism being questioned, sedition being defined and a strange nationalism being the criteria for motherland loyalty, we may have a confused people in the country: In this scene from my sometimes fertile imagination, my daughter, who stands at attention when the national anthem is played even on TV for the cricket team, stopped me at the door while I was leaving, “You can’t dress like this dad! Very unpatriotic!” she exclaimed pulling the tie of my neck, making me wince with pain.

“Whoa! Whoa!” I said, “I’ve been wearing that tie for decades!”

“So have the British!” she said firmly, “And they left India quite a few years ago, though I guess you don’t know that!”

“I guess it’s my designer shirt next right?” I asked.

“Only khadi!” she said firmly, “I’ve already ordered a spinning wheel online; should be here in a few hours! And in case you’re going to say you don’t know how to spin, it comes with instructions!”

“But I don’t want to spin yarn!” I said.

“Aren’t you spinning one every day as a writer?” she asked and I saw the faint traces of a smile. “And what’s that thing round your stomach?”

“My belt!” I said simply. “You aren’t saying it’s unpatriotic to hold up my pants with a belt are you?”

“Dad!” said the daughter severely, “Do you know what that belt is made from? How could you be so cruel? Instead of protecting cows, you carry their poor hides round you? And you call yourself national?”

I pulled out my belt and laid it on the table. My tie and my shirt stared back at me, and for the first time in my life I felt I had done my country wrong. “I’m sorry!” I said simply and started on my way back to my room holding onto my beltless pants for dear life.

“Where are you going?” the daughter asked sternly.

“It’s going to be difficult going to work without a shirt or my belt,” I told her, “And till the courier boy brings my spinning wheel, I have nothing to do!”

“Sow seeds for your motherland!” said my daughter sternly.

“What?” I asked.

“Are you refusing to call this your motherland?”

“No!” I whispered, as I took the packet of wheat and rice grain, she gave me and walked out without my shirt to start work as a farmer in my own backyard.

“What are you doing?” asked my neighbour as he looked over the wall and saw me shirtless, tieless, and sweating as I tilled the soil and planted the seeds.

“Trying not to be unIndian,” I said as I looked at my daughter fearfully. “And please don’t say anything funny if my pants fall down; we don’t want to be booked for sedition, do we?”






4 thoughts on “Being UnIndian..!”

  1. Hi Bobby. Nice to hear that ‘Dare’ will be out soon. I will buy a copy to read. How soon will the book be on the stands. Waiting eagerly to read my dear friends writing. You have a great Wednesday and enjoy the day.

  2. Yes the world’s (India)becoming more complicated and confusing, sometimes even people should die to save an animal bah… What’s going on Bob? Anyways your mind’s always fertile with positive thoughts, keep it up!

  3. Thanks for the amusing article, which at the same time, is disconcerting, looking at what is happening around us in our country. It brings to mind, Samuel Johnson’s quote ” Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel ” , of which we have no lack.

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