AUGUST 15, 1996


Here is an article written by Arati Nanda from Austria, on the occasion of Independence day.

August 1, 1996

Author's Bio-Data

Arati Nanda

Background: I am a Math Ph.D (1995) from IIT Kanpur doing my post doc.
	    in Johannes-Kepler Universitaet, Linz, Austria

Parents :  Sri Bibekananda Nanda
           Smt. Kanan Bala Nanda

Education: Schooling (1981): DAV Bolani School
           B.Sc (1985)& M.Sc (1987) (Mathematics) : Utkal University
           Ph.D (Mathematics) (1995): IIT Kanpur
           PDF (Mathematics) (1995 - ) Johannes - Kepler Univ, Austria

E-mail:    nanda@indmath.uni-linz.ac.at

Childhood : Bolani, Keonjhar.


(The author is grateful to Dr. Bijoy Misra (Harvard) for some corrections)

Tere khita rAm
Tere khita rAm

Tere khita rAm pAm
LAti kAti pam pam (2)

Tere khita rAm pAm pAm
LAti kAti pam pam pam

The marching DHUN of drums and bugles would create a patriotic feeling within every heart of 2000 kids of that school at the beginning of August every year. "BAin se te chal; Age badh; Pichhe mud; DAein dekh; Kadam tAl sooru kar, Ek-do-Ek, Ek-do-Ek!" With these paradic commands the platoon commanders would control over their World War II heros!

"Arati! Did you use your white uniform last night to wipe out the red cement surface of your house!" My sanskrit teacher would tell me on the very first day just after a summer vacation.

"Sir, please wait, 15 th August is ahead, I will celebrate it with a pair of new dress" - a passionate answer would come out instantly.

The whole town of Bolani was busy preparing for the Independence day ceremony starting from July. Tailors were the celebrity of the entire month. Parents were busy transfering cloth pieces from cooperative store to their small shops. Soon after that everything was nonstop - their hearts, hands, legs....everything! They did not have time to refuse any late comers. Even at midnight I could see their Kathak dance on the flat iron plates of the sewing machines. With spiders' spirit they could paint a romantic sky of shower among the jingoistic students.

I was always fascinated by the drums' ecstatic sound. August's rain shower would cleanse my inner being with a patriotic linen. Father taught me a great poetry which made my young heart proud whenever I recalled it.

bhArata bhoomi ra santAna Ame
nuAinbu nAhin mathA
marile gAibA Amari bhasha mA
e desha ra jaya gAthA.

Ame bIra jAti nuhen re Amara
jAtake hoini lekhA
ghara kone basi luchi rahi bAku
s'atru dele re DakA.

AhwAna dele s'atru Amaku
dhari jAnu tara barI
s'atru rakate gheni jAnu chitA
s'atru nidhana kari.

bIra bans'a ra dAyAda Ame re
nuAinbu nAhin mathA
nuAinbu nAhin mathA
nuAinbu nAhin mathA.

On 14 th evening it was a complete rehearsal on the open pandal of green grass carpet. We were just awaiting the night's darkness to pass out, which would bring a free wave with its rising sun, a rhythmic peace with its southern breeze, a jubilant affection with its embryonic rose and an elated reverence at the temple's door.

The early white herons' aerodynamical arrow would pierce me with its first independence news. On 15th morning the school ground was filled up with 2000 white and blue dressed children with complete uniform. A complete harmony irrespective of their material origins - all were equal!

It was a day to salvage our past with proud hearts. It was a day to take numerous promises to see a bright India under the flapping flag. With crackers, freed pigeons, helium baloons they conveyed the meaning of independence; higher always higher! At every stride I used to inhale a billion atoms of free air. Starting from the school to the public parade ground my chest and back made a complete 'Sine' curve with the vetebrae. Head upward perpendicular to the tangential shoulder surface, reviving the glorious past with blood earned freedom.

The alcoholic effect of justice grew up within me until the limit approached that of some freedom fighters. I stood still in front of India Gate. Death comes once in a life with jasmine fragrance, so I divorced all my fears.

As childhood slipped into adulthood, I found, my school days were gone, gone were those beautiful days. Those yesterdays of my life have become a dream land. Now 15th August is a symbol of holiday. Do not bother to count how old is she: My free India; every year, every speaker used to register her age in Chitragupta's almanac. Can't remember exactly how many spokes are there in the wheel of my national flag! Never thought of counting how many words, letters or symbols are there in my national anthem - the greatest identity of my being. The players on the Olympic ground remember you; alas! I have forgotten all!

Tell me, my great India - if I am ever free! My head hides its identity within its shrunken shoulders. My voice is sensorised by remote control, my life's walk is to a narrow lane of existence. The 14th August's night does not bring enthusiasm within me to achieve all best qualities while marching towards public. I can not see a 15th full moon, perhaps it has become a blue moon!

I still remember - it was a day when all school children were calling each other by their first names without any age consideration. It never created anomaly but rewarded each of them with full respect, strong friendship which had fluidity and freedom. I never forget to pay respect to my youngsters or elders. I will never forget that teaching of my principal K V K Rao when he folded his lotus hands offering me a 'namaskar'. Perhaps his experienced old hands offered me the highest form of mathematical grammar to create numerous fountains at the receivers' hearts by proving my cultural base of evolution.

Now they say - I am selfish! I am also ashamed of not satisfying it, my coveted goal! my own desire - who am I and what do I require! (Swaartha = Swa + artha). Oh, my pious learned India, please define the word selfish - does it mean to put others in danger or ridicule others just for outward satisfaction?

If I am my physical identity and my desire is bookish education - then why can not I achieve the goal? They are selfish who could distinguish their hankering talent. I must distil away my ultimate desire and march forward to become a hardcore selfish person, a true Indian.

15th August's freedom helped me earning several friends. Freedom is the secret of life, it is the key to death and union of love and a thread of respect.

Give a smile, you will win a heart.
Give a heart, you will win a life.
Give a life, you will win your death.

Your comments are always welcome...

Arati Nanda
Arati Nanda

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