Before you could read anything and I can say anything, I’d like to wish all the readers and fellow Indians a very Happy Republic day. I won’t ask you what do you mean by Republic day, how much do you follow the constitution of India or do you respect the Indian flag.. Such questions must have been popped at you from school time debates to Chai pe Charcha. Instead I’d like to ink the importance of “Being Indian” to Non Residing Indians. Staying miles away from the motherland, how they feel and what they go through.
By now, majority of India would have seen Akshay Kumar’s Airlift. There is a high octane scene in the movie when an Indian official fix the Indian flag at Jordan airport portraying the acknowledgement of Indian government to bring back their citizens from the war zone. If you want to see the respect towards Indian flag then there couldn’t be a better opportunity than looking into the eyes of those Indians who had no one but India to save their lives. However unfortunately in our own country on August 16th and January 27th you can find paper and plastic flags lying on roads and streets with all due disrespect since the I-Day and R-Day passed.
I watched the movie in Sydney and that too when India was thrashing Australia in 5th ODI and to my surprise show was houseful and I did find people murmuring that Aakhir kaam toh apna desh hi aata hai and Bhai, Settle toh india me hi honge. And this is when they are earning in lakhs here and have got all the best possible facilities and living standards. Because whatsoever you earn and whatever position you hold, you’ll always be an outsider. Ranjit Katiyal – the protagonist of Airlift – didn’t consider him as an Indian but a Kuwaiti but when his world was broken into pieces he had just one hope and that was India. There is a very apt dialogue in movie, “Chot lagti hai naa toh aadmi maa-maa hi chillata hai sabse pehle” and that stands very tall for the people living outside India.
All the festivals spark a no-restriction celebration in India, after all we are a country driven by the festivals. But when you step out of India, whether you want to lit a sparkle or play with the colors you need to have the permission from government or the society management. The bheed which irritates you in India is what you miss the most as an NRI. The late night loud speakers, nagaadas on the roads which didn’t let you sleep grabbing all your anger are something which you thrive for when you are out of India. Of course you are relieved that you have to no longer travel in Mumbai local or Delhi metro but this relief comes at cost of Vada Paav, Paanipuri, Samosa Chat, Litti-Chokha, Rosogulla and many other delicacies. If there is a family function, all you can do is a video call and be a part of the ecstasy but deep down you very well know that though you are earning moolah but losing on all the small and big regaling moments. And the worst thing is it’s only you who is impacted but your family is hit even worse.
It would be an understatement to say that NRIs feel more for the nation. They might not play the patriotic songs and might not watch “Tiranga” or “Border” today but the love, respect and importance that NRIs possess in their heart for India will certainly be some notches higher than the people back in India because they know what they are missing and value the pride of BEING INDIAN. And this is pretty evident from the expressions of Katrina Kaif (Jasmeet who considers herself to be a Britisher in Namaste London) when Akshay Kumar explains what India is and why we proudly say “Mera Bharat Mahaan”..