“What Do You Mean By A Country?”

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 PMNov (Cinema, Friends, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

Those were my initial days in Delhi. I was on my way to the University. I had got diwn from one bus at Firoz Shah Road and walking towards another bus stop to catch another bus. While crossing the broad roads of the Sarkari Dilli I had decided to call Vishnu, who then was in Jhharkhand working on documentaries with Shri bhai.

After some general talks about weather and the new environment (for both of us) Vishnu narrated an incident that had taken place a few days ago. He was interviewing a tribal man for his documentary and while posing a question to him Vishnu had said something like, “See it has been so long since we got independence” or “In this independent country” and was interrupted suddenly by the man. He asked Vishnu, “Is it? Have we got independence? When?”

Almost a year after this incident i.e. few days ago Jayanth Kaikini was in Delhi. Our free flow of conversation when reached a particular point he recollected an incident from his Bombay days when “Ritwik was a school going boy.” It seems Jayanath sir and Smitha were dressiing up Ritwik (their son) for the Independence day programme to be held in his school. As they were dressing up their son their maid, belonging a tribe from Maharashtra, asked “What is the sepcial occassion?” Recollecting this Jayanath Sir told me that he explained to her saying, “Today is the day when our country got its Independece.” It seems to this answer cum explaination the lady posed a question even the more basic. “What do you mean by a country?”

15 August 2010

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