Friday, June 17, 2011

Rang De Basanti: A Generation Awakens

A generation awakens?? An exaggeration?? A marketing gimmick?? An overstatement?? Perhaps… but remember the French revolution was ignited by a non-existent piece of cake and bread! Revolutions, in classical sense, aren’t the order of the day. And most certainly don’t happen by watching a typical 3-hour bollywood-masala flick.
But this case is different!
While coming out of the dark cinema hall with other people, some with moist eyes, some with a smile and some sporting a cynic look, I wondered… how apt this analogy would portray what I felt like. And many be a few like me would feel - transiting from darkens to bright light with a momentary blur and then seeing things clearly.
“Agar tum system ko badalne jaao, to system tumhe hi badal dega” (If you want and take initiative to change or improvise system, system itself will make sure you are changed!)
But, “No nation is perfect. You have to make it a better one.”
It, definitely, is a collective responsibility of this society to stand up for the values it treasures. And in this collective responsibility, don’t I, as an individual, have a role to play?
I don’t know whether a generation awakens or not! But a thought process has been kindled. A couple of guys and gals might have felt we should do something… something that would make a difference… a difference in the way we think… in the way we react… in the way we connect with the people around us… in the way we LIVE!
I am one such person who wants to do his bit. However small it might be. And I know that there are others who are waiting to do something. If these few words act as a catalyst to them, the purpose of writing these few random thoughts on paper would be fulfilled.
Diljeet aka DJ, Sukhi, Pandey, Aslam, Sue, Karan, Soniya, Ajay… all these characters are people we see all around us. In fact, many of us can actually relate to these, like in my case it’s a mix of Aslam, DJ and Sukhi. Being a teetotaler, sporting a beard, balancing act between family and friends - that’s Aslam part of me. When it comes to the fairer sex - I’m as lucky or unlucky as Sukhi. Well, I’m not a smooth operator that DJ is, but we share same passion - bikes. We ride a lot like each other too… fast! I might not do the stunts that he performs, but, both of us ride in full biking gear!
Not, this brings me to the part where I’d like to throw some light on how I think I can contribute to making this Nation of mine a perfect one or at least better… small things can make a difference, like the way I conduct/behave myself on road!

  • No matter what, I’ll always try to obey and respect the traffic signals - they are made for us, for our safety
  • As far as possible, I’ll try not to “reason” with the traffic-policeman if caught breaking a rule
  • When on bike, full riding gear - always. At least no biking without a helmet & gloves. Nothing is more costly than my life
  • If you can’t give alms to the “children” on crossroads, least you can do is smile or say sorry, don’t be so indifferent, inhuman

I know for sure I can do these little things. It hardly takes any effort, but would hopefully make some difference. At least, next time I abuse a red-light jumper - I won’t feel guilty myself! 

This article was written in 2006 when movie Rang De Basanti was release (more info here & here) as a part of in-house newsletter dedicated to Democracy. An old article! Recently I’ve written another piece with similar theme and with some reference to same movie, so thought of publishing this one too along with the new one. A lot has happened since this was written…

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