Bharat Bhagya Vidhata, a verse from one of the most rousing hymns for most Indians. It’s the verse that has received and continues to receive a fair share of controversy and meaningless skepticism. Some conspiracy theorists believe that it was written in the praise of King George the fifth, Gurudev himself attributed it to the lord almighty, the Supreme creator, as discovered through some letters that he wrote to his friends. Bharat Bhagya Vidhata translates to Creator of India’s destiny, a very coercive thing to say. Who is the creator of India’s destiny?
Is it the almighty? Or is it the athlete who represents India in a sporting event? Is it the PM at a UN convention? Or is it the people who take India to Mars? Is it the dancer who seems to have preserved the cultural identity of this great nation?
Before that, here is a short why I got to talking about this in the first place. Sometime back, I shared the news about a friend’s placement at a great firm in the US with another friend working here in a social enterprise. His reaction was a moving one. He said that while people could fill their pockets with cash in the US, it’s people like him who bring the real change. And all that I could think about was the phrase Bharat Bhagya Vidhata. I was mesmerized at first, but got to the state of pondering a little later. And the question at large was who the creator of India’s destiny is? My idea wasn’t and isn’t to undermine the effort of my friend in shaping the nation, but, what good is an inspiring statement that doesn’t make the listener ponder at a later stage.
Coming back to the question, here is what I believe Bharat Bhagya Vidhata refers to: a sweeper who cleans the street, a teacher who channelizes the young blood, a cobbler who mends footwear to feed his family, a woman who works as a maid so that she could educate her children, a man working for the ISRO, a soldier stationed at the frontier, a rickshaw puller, a mason who is essential to the construction of the dam across our rivers, a man working for an NGO, a woman working as a nurse in the middle east so that she could feed her family in Kerala, a businessman who pays the taxes on time and also an engineer working in a company in the US which changes the world. For what changes the world also changes us, moreover as a civilization, we believe in Vasudev Kutumbakam meaning that the world is one family. Every single Indian who does what his/her job well is the creator. And there couldn’t be a better thing or person or power to hail in a national anthem than your own self. Bharat Bhagya Vidhata isn’t just praise, it is a reminder of the responsibility that each one of us has, the responsibility to do what we are meant to do, no matter where we come from or where we are located.
In the end all I want to say is “Bharat Bhagya Vidhata, Jai He” (Oh Creator of India’s destiny, praise be on you).
This note is a tribute to the unsung heroes in my life. No legendary stuff, just everyday people in my life.
Heroics go beyond fighting wars for the nation, heroics go beyond saving people in a disaster, no doubt that these are heroics of the highest order yet heroics aren’t limited to these. There are people and times that are etched in your memory forever. These events may not be something big or something really significant, but they are there. These seemingly insignificant acts left an indelible impression on the soul. For them, it’s not a great thing or a one time thing, it’s there in the nature of the people. It makes them who they are. It’s in the shadow of the greatness of these people that I have grown as a person. Many of these people may have forgotten who I am or what they did for me, but I won’t ever forget them. One thing that is common in all these people is the fact that grandness lies in the heart. No fancy, material thing could ever buy that grandness. The other thing is that they laugh and they smile, come what may. May be it is this laughter on the world and its ways that these people find their strength in. To an extent I have learned to laugh too. These people won’t ever ask for any credits because they never think that they did something extraordinary, for them it is the way of life for them it is doing what is right, for them it is simply an extension of the self.
Though each one of us cannot be great or be a hero in someone’s life, but there is one thing that all of us can do. And that is acknowledging somebody’s existence when the world has given up on that person. I can’t proclaim that I do it myself, but I am trying to learn.
Lastly, I wish I could name the people I am grateful to in this note, but, that would take away all the glory from those people. Their glory is in remaining anonymous, remaining away from the limelight and being the everyday person that they are.
Someone rightly said the best way to experience a place and its people is to straight away hit out at the streets (well that someone might just be me). Especially in a country like mine it provides a taste of all its unity and diversity.
Walking along the road you find beautifully decorated shops geographically encompassing the footpath area as well (leaving a footpath as a footpath is a cardinal sin for a shop owner). Coming back to the road you would find veiled beauties on their scooterettes heading towards their base camp for waging war against India. And not to forget there are a few bikers following them hoping of an encounter (don’t read fierce gun battle stuff). And if your feet stop supporting you, you should stop at a tea stall where all kinds of socio-political issues are discussed and multi-million dollar business deals are struck. Whoa fool you are if looking for a public transport and waiting at the bus stop. Every place other than a bus stop is a bus stop and the best thing being even an intersection on a road is a bus stop. Swiftly slip into one of those boxes called public transport and don’t expect a seat as you are the 150th person on board where there are seats for just 50. You get down at your desired location and you would discover that colonies of mosquitoes and and humans do co-exist. Walking across, you accidentally are attracted towards a piece of clothing on a shop and when you land in the shop you would realize that the net worth of the products shown to the customer would be around 400 times the net value of items sold ( #window shopping ). More Indians speak English than the total population of the Great Britain and that is the reason why you would come across a studio proclaiming “proposel speslist”, a couple of shops saying “oswal sop”, ” cow ghee”, “celender”. Not to forget the temple in the middle of the road which might read “visa wale hanumanji” or” bijli wale bholenath”. There are free spirited wanderers, there are drunkard maniacs, there are the stalkers’ brigades and there are god’s finest creations, well there is no end to what the street has to offer. From Tata nano to BMW series 7 grab it all. It is this place where the definition of pillion holds no meaning, 4 people on a two wheeler. From the colorful stall of the fruit seller to the filthy pharmacy, from the neatly spread out saree shop to the refreshing soda shop we have it all. Don’t be astonished to find a nepali lifting his auto while the hydraulic jack is laying at rest nearby, don’t be astonished to see a man with an iPhone enjoying the flavors of an ice candy, don’t be astonished to see a militia coming to thrash you up if you meet a girl accidentally ( reading meeting an accident involving a girl), don’t be astonished to find an ordinary man with a belt boldly stating “versace” just have a look at his wrist and you might find a swatch or Rolex ( there is no guarantee about the originality of the goods ). Come across a park and you have love birds unmoved by the motion on the streets. If you are new to this country and were wondering what those rusty red spills on the walls and on the road are, let me take you the factory then.
“Panwala” though not pretty much the same as the one yelling “dobara mat puchna” in a tv commercial but yeah an interesting character in the great Indian story. A man stuck up on his mobile phone as if he is the personal aid to the President of India, a master at multi tasking one hand on the pan other dispensing the side items such as cigarettes etc. Unbelievably that 4X4 shop has a color TV where the rest of India watches team India being pissed off by the English. And you thought that he would have a cleaning cloth at his disposal to clean his rusty red hands, I swear if he is true to his profession he would wipe them on his head.
The street is a word in unison with motion.
You see people heading endlessly to eternity, to a horizon, the horizon of faith. That faith which has single handedly set and maintained this country in motion.
At the end of the day you find a man with a black Tee with a tricolored Rubik’s cube and a small line stating “The united mysteries of India”.