Yes. I watched the movie...finally, after witnessing house full boards all over the city, I got to watch it on this very special day, 15th August 2007. Sixty years is a long time...The tv channels understand it, so does the media.. From CNN-IBN to NDTV, and our very own aaj tak... there were debates, indo-pak one sided superficial discussions...There were special shows, taking us back to the past, 1947 to 2007...our achievements, our contributions, our struggle...
I watched all that and much more. I was one of the millions listening to patriotic songs, repeatedly being played on TV. nothing moved me for quite some time. I surfed and re surfed and surfed again, the buttons on my remote are no more embossed. I was searching for something, I dont know what. In the process, my fingers trembled and went back two channels, some weird awards and a scantily audienced quiz show later, I found it. A sardarji was singing,
ae guzarne vaali hawa bata
Mera itna kaam karegi kya....
and it went on to..
Main vaapas aaoonga
Main vaapas aaoonga
And I realised what I was searching for...I cried... It touched me, the way the guy sang, he could barely sing cos his voice was choking...But it was straight from the heart, genuine, not the annu kapoor type.
I can still hear his voice. Why I brought this up here? Cos I felt like, cos I just wanted to, thats what freedom is all about, isnt it?
Chak de India was an experience in itself, no I am not gonna review the movie, but for me this was Shahrukh Khan's best performance after Swades. He has done a brilliant job. the dialogues are intelligent and delivered superbly, there is subtle humour with immaculate timing...They could have done a better job with the screenplay, but I am no expert. The title track rocks, it makes you wanna dance!! Even though you know the outcome, you will find yourself surprisingly sitting at the edge of your seat, biting those dirty nails off...even if you pretend to predict!
So thats that. But what happened after the movie left me with a few questions. We, that is my friend and I, came out from the theatre, searching for an auto. every auto guy we asked said 150 bucks for 8 kms, I have always detested the incessant right that they seem to possess with no rhyme or reason and more often than not they end up getting a piece of my mind. So, I said "aap apne paas apna auto rakho"..
Next auto, a flag sitting pretty, looking beautiful on top of it, the guy said "ten rupees extra dena madam"
MT: Sirf 7 baje hain. kamsekam jhanda rakhke nainsafi mat karo. sharam aani chhaiye tumko.
Auto: thhek hai baitho madam.
MT: meter se zyada nahi dooongi.
Auto: theek hai na madam, meter laga diya.
MT: baad mein ladayi mat karna.
Auto: aap baithiye na madam..
The three wheeler zooms past the bangalore not-so-trafficky-evening. As I read his name plate that said mahaboob pasha.... The wind sways the flag on my face, I touch it, with pride, as I glance through it and read a hoarding which said "dangerously desirable"....I smile
We get down, and my friend tells the auto guy,
F: bura na mano to ek baat kahu. flag utar do, andhera ho gaya hai.
The first thought or question or what ever u wanna call it, was why?? why should he put the flag inside? Just because its dark. I asked him. he said, its a rule. there are some special occassions when u can let it sway after dark.
I dont agree. Somehow its not acceptable to me, even if its a rule, or like my other friend said, a flag protocol. The auto guy, Pasha, was celebrating his country's independence day, doesnt he even have the freedom to let the flag sway till whenever he wants it to?
What freedom are we talking abt? Is it only for the armed forces and the politicians, the right to hoist the flag? Is it only on special occassions?
If the announcement of freedom was made at midnight, the flag would have been hoisted then, midnight is not sunshine in full bloom! now this is a special occassion..hmmm
My question is why not? why cant I hoist the flag and keep it till day break? maybe this is how i celebrate my independence day...
I, a civilian and the citizen of this country want to hoist the flag, a flag that is the symbol of my country and its independence, its identity, a flag that came to 'light' after 200 dark years of slavery, of inhumanness, of being the so called white-man's burden...
Do I have it in me?
I would say Chak de India!