Thursday, December 01, 2016

Jan Gan Man ki Baat

The Supreme Court has asked all cinemas to play the national anthem before a film is screened. This may have become a national debate now but our National Anthem nudges me every morning at the most inappropriate hour. There is a school near my house. Their morning assembly ends with ‘Jan gan man’ which coincides with the time when I’m shampooing my hair and my head and face is covered with foam or when I’m talking to someone over the phone.I can’t be against the lovely ritual of singing the anthem in school assemblies, but the loudspeaker.

A teacher’s day at work begins with the national anthem. I have come across lovely things related to it. Most of the times we have to tell the little ones not to close their eyes while singing. And oh my, you should listen to a kindergarden child singing it. An eight year old NRI student of mine was astonished to see that everyone knew and sang the National Anthem so well in the school. In the US, he said that nobody knows their anthem after a line or two.

When there is s a big discussion going on about respecting our national anthem, I think of the gardener who I saw standing up straight while weeding the flower beds, as soon as students started singing Jan gan man. I went to him and appreciated him for his gesture and humiliated an SIS guard for fidgeting and being indifferent throughout.
In my city they already play National Anthem in cinema halls. I witnessed it before watching Pink in a theatre, when I was expecting "Vicco Turmeric, nahi cosmetic" ad. There is a mood for everything. I love my country, but movies and National Anthem do not match. National Anthem is too pious to be related to something we do leisurely.

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