Yet another Independence Day approaches. We had a colorful celebration in the office today with competitions like, 'My Pod’ which is a euphemism for 'most distastefully decorated cubicle". People showed how (un)creative they were by decorating their work stations with trillions of tricolor Indian flags in varying degrees of slants, from 10 degree to some really acute and obtuse angled slants, while some hung it upside down.
By evening I was ready to puke at the sight of the tricolor. It was everywhere!! Some people had used their genius creativity to make designs of the flags. They looked like tricolor mosaics and people were heard asking “What is that? Oh! That’s a circle made of flags yeah? How umm nice."
Just when I was fighting the tricolor overdose induced nausea, came the round of sweets. And you guessed it right, it was tricolor. Sigh.
Some people decided to go off the beaten path! I heaved sigh of relief!! They bought tricolor streamers!! *barf* Yet another group too decided to do something different, They bought tricolor brooches. By afternoon, the facilities team, not to be outdone, lovingly plonked a tricolor flag on every table. And lest we complaint of damp Independence Day spirit in the office, they topped it up with garlands made of Marigold on the workstation walls!
I suddenly felt pity for the British. So this was the reason they ran away!!! So much tricolor would have been a deadly assault on the sensitive British senses. And they used vegetable dyes in those days!!
Lunch was interesting. Tricolor pulao, and tricolor Koftas and everything else had a generous helping of white or orange and green in it. Dessert was tricolor cham cham! I was gagging! The assault of the tricolor was suffocating. And there were Nehrus and Tilaks and Rajendra Prasads walking around, talking of sales figures and year end targets. Very unnerving I tell you!
And the gals...you wont believe this…were dressed in white salwars and tricolor dupattas!! Yours truly stuck to a white salwar kurtha and white dupatta ( HR orders to wear ‘ethnic’). Someone lovingly stuck a tricolor bindi on my forehead and my tricolor misery was complete!
Outlook Express was a tricolor churning machine for the day. Every other mail came with images of Gandhi, Baby, Dove, Landscape and Sunflowers painted over with…you guessed right, the tricolor!!! The tricolor sunflower looked like that awful Wipro logo that I am sure Premji was made to adopt under gunpoint! Of course the e-cards had "Happy Independence Day" written all over in tricolor wedding fonts. Is there any limit to creativity? It was overstretched err overflowing in my office today.
Is this what Independence Day is all about I wondered. Then how different is it from Valentines and New Years!
There was a speech from a big boss that I knew by heart and when he paused to answer his phone, I caught myself lip syncing the words.
We must do our bit for the country blah blah. We must be responsible blah blah. Blah duties too and blah like patriotic blah, we must blah and we should blah blah. Then we can blah blah, so that we can progress blah blah into a SUPERPOWER!!”
*applause from khadi clad junta*
I silently thanked the gods that I was lip syncing the speech, or the bhaashan would have continued in a feminine voice while he attended a phone call.
Felt very frustrated by the end of the day. I took the plastic box of tricolor sweets tied with tricolor ribbons and pushed it into my bag. Somehow, I could not appreciate the enthusiasm of the decorators. I wish that enthusiasm was channeled elsewhere, like on the streets where the real India lives. Talk is cheap I know, but I wish the stupid Human Resources had taken us for a day's CSR at some orphanage or village school. At least for a day, I would have felt I did something relevant. I badly want to feel that I have done something. Right now I feel like an empty headed fool with my tricolor bindi and tricolor flag stuck with a pin on my salwar.
Hope this post doesn’t read like a bhaashan. But I am feeling damn frustrated right now to see Independence Day reduced to another commercial celebration like Valentines Day! When will we become a nation of doers and not just tricolor streamers err I mean dreamers?
( I am off to Kerala for the long weekend. Reply to comments will hence be delayed. Have a rocking weekend folks!!)