Independence Day Enthusiasm, Where Art Thou!
It was only a few years ago, when one humid morning, I woke up to the sound of “patakhas” or fire crackers going off, and right that moment I mumbled to myself, “August has arrived!”
This celebration used to go on and on until the 14th of August. I remember the neighborhood uncles and aunties being annoyed at the racket that erupted somewhere in the middle of the night but despite that still used to hand over some money to their children buy a new pack which, to me, looked like they never actually had any problem. There was not one house on the street which did not bear a green and white flag, and everybody’s mantra used to be: “The bigger, the better!”
All the streets turned green with little flags hung over railings and ceilings, all the roads illuminated, and every television channel played Independence Day special transmission that was actually worth watching, and not to forget, patriotism that raged through the veins. Old national songs used to fill the air, and we for once took a day off from studying to enjoy freedom.
The roads would be clogged because of the throng of people who had stepped out to celebrate. You could see a lot of them wearing shades of green and, believe it or not, one could feel that there is something going on that has to do with sharing the love for your country, and understanding the reason for its creation. Every time, some TV anchor raised the slogan “Pakistan Zindabad!” everyone would feel this sudden adrenaline rush. The programs were excellent in quality, starting from the national anthem played by some nice musical band to the award distribution ceremony and the shows which aired national songs and dance. We sat till midnight to watch the tele-film which oozed great acting and had an amazing script.
But times have changed. Perhaps many of us have outgrown the juvenile attribute that we all were a part of some years ago, of putting the jhandiyan, of singing patriotic tracks, or maybe just believing that we were free. Either way, we might have let social networking websites get the better of us. The sad truth is that we no more see or feel the same enthusiasm that we used to a long time ago. Although TV channels are increasing in number everyday, they fail to capture or portray the essence of Independence Day spirit. They do color their logos all green and use inspiring taglines but that old spark is missing, or maybe it is just me.
We have become so engulfed, and busy with our lives that all the youth does now on 14th of August is change their display pictures on facebook or their blogs to something green or a picture of our flag. Most share a picture or a worthy quotation of Quaid -e- Azam, and Iqbal and move on. Most schools still host special Independence Day tableaux and performances but they are so cringe worthy and uninspiring that most shows fall flat on their face. There is just no level of passion involved in them!
It breaks my heart to see this, that there was actually a time when we all used to wait anxiously for 14th of August to come forth…and now it just whizzes past us with a mere whisper.
Now when I woke up one fine August morning and think, I let out a pained sigh, “14th August spirit…where art thou?”