On the eve of the auspicious occasion of our great country’s hard-earned freedom, let’s celebrate liberty (not to be mistaken for the shoe-makers with the same name).

… Some go to the India Gate to be a direct witness to our great democracy’s Independence Day; some stick to the good-old DD with baritone holding anchors describing the same things every year; some make the most of it with a day-off at a nearby holiday resort and some wake up at noon to ponder over as to what to do with the hangover from last night. In a pompous display of honesty, I confess of following the second and the last practice so far in my life. As a kid, I used to sit with the whole family over the elaborate holiday breakfast in front of TV. And when my father thought that I am old and sensible enough to live on my own, I took that freedom literally and had been spending 15th August with my definition of liberty (pondering over hangovers) till I got married.

However, this is a rough idea of how almost all of us celebrate the holiday on the Independence Day. But there are sections in our society that celebrate freedom, liberty and independence on a regular basis, to be precise, daily!

Ladies and gentlemen, fasten your seat-belts as we are ready to take off…

The Pee-er Pressure Group : Have to admit at the outset, basically men dominate this group- a lot that clubs natures’ call with ultimate aazadi. They give a damn to civic sense and basic decency to untimely salt-water every possible corner, wall, tree, bushes and what not! And why not, they are, after all Free Citizens!

The Spitting Cobras : Paan, gutkha, paan-masala, supari – they are all synonymous to India. And this section, by virtue of their regular consumption of these products, are the true Indians. I have met one genius who looked down upon me as I asked him not to have gutkha, purely because of the irritating stench it carried. He dumped me with pride and sarcasm – “Tu hoga bhai sophisticated, hum to desi log hai”. And trust me, I am not as sophisticated as he made me sound like one. And I am telling you, this word ‘Desi’ is a common but lame excuse to act and behave like epic a**holes.

… Be what it may, the Spitting Cobras are everywhere. And they leave their trail with deep crimson-coloured stains wherever they go. Why?- because it is a free nation!

The Dragons : Oh no, I am not going to implicate anything remotely connected to our aggressive neighbour. Our own country has her share of the ‘Desi’ Dragons who spit fiery abuses publically at everyone and everything that appears wrong and inferior to them. This lot is however, available in almost every country in the world. But this is not the point here; they are easily found in my mother-land and this is my focus-point! And as India is a family-oriented society, the abuses also include mother, brother, father, sister, daughter and their imaginary incestuous scandals. Said so, there is nothing wrong in venting out your ire at times by mouthing a few gaalis in private or in close circles. But exercising it in public and that too at the top volume, is so not done. However, quite ironically though, if you feel hesitated to do so in the open, you might be stereotyped as a coward who has no ‘dum’ and most importantly, who is not aware of his/ her freedom!

The Traffic Outlaws : Roads are filled with these dare-devils. They honk unnecessarily, often mistake a normal road for a racing circuit, all their important calls arrive when they are at the wheels and so on.

And stopping at a traffic red light is a total taboo to them. It is like being spotted with a pimp in a red-light area.

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So Friends, Indians and Countrymen, wish you a happy Independence Day. Celebrate it the way you like… (at India Gate/ on DD/ joy ride/ searching for the lemon slices in your fridge).

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