The Indian Independence Day dawn is just a few hours away. And I am in a country that is not mine.
I have come here before, as a tourist. To see as many malls as I could, to eat as many previously-not-eaten-delicacies as I could, to visit as many relatives as I could – the objectives, the bent of mind, everything was typical. It felt great while it lasted.
This time, I have come to give my dad some company. He has lived in this country for three years now - alone. It means I am here for a longer period of time with boring things like looking for a job in an industry which almost does not exist in the country, thrown in. In flat one fortnight, I have begun to appreciate my country, my own country, infinitely more.
My country is not so sophisticated. The roads are not so smooth; the buildings are not so tall. But I can step out of my home and walk. To wherever I want to and even if I don’t know where to.
My country doesn’t pay as much money. With soaring house rents and real estate prices, city life is almost a battle for most middle class people. With ever-increasing food prices, sustenance is difficult for others across cities and villages. But there is always this house or that house to go to when you are hungry and not in the mood to cook.
My country is not one of plenty. There are people who don’t have it to eat one day’s meal. But when you do have it, you can have it where you please, even on the road, even during the holy month of Ramzan, without the worry of offending anyone, because acceptance comes naturally to us.
My country does not believe in autocracy or monopoly. We have more than ten telecom companies giving the consumers the best rates in the world for the sake of their existence. I can call anyone I want anytime I want without burning a hole in my pocket.
My country, with all its imperfectness, makes me feel at home.
To a country that made me what I am, thank you for the freedom you have endowed on me. Not just from the British, from all the other things that you as a country could have been and did not turn out to be. Love you