India’s Pride

It was a bright sunday noon …

Priya was waving good bye to her mom, dad, uncle ,3 brothers, 4 nephews and 6 cousins at the Mumbai air port.

Mom was trying hard to control her tears and dad was concerned and kept reminding Priya about her safety…

Priya rolled her eyes… ‘come on guys… why are you all making a big fuss… I will be fine… cheer up’ .

It was her day after all.. her dream had came true… She was leaving  for her higher studies to the U.S.A

Priya was always considered the most talented and was loved by her family.

She was the long awaited only girl child of the big family which was blessed with too much  of male kids.

When Priya excelled in her school finals and her teacher had advised her to join in some foreign university  which was ready to give her a scholarship for  her under graduation… Priya was too ready to take it … but her dreams crashed..

when all her family members felt this as an insult rather than a happy moment. Her uncle had yelled ‘ How dare can that teacher even suggest such a silly thing… are we beggars to send our only daughter to some remote place! and that too for free education!… how stupid!’ every one agreed … to Priya’s dismay.

Most of all her grand dad took it hard… ‘ I was a freedom fighter…. now our daughter wants to  live abroad!’

he created such a drama that the plan of sending Priya even to a hostel  at next city was dropped.

She was sent to a nearby college as a day scholar with all facilities , which made her grand dad so happy that he left earth at peace after an year.

After finishing her 3 years degree at her home town, Priya finally had courage to apply to few universities in U.S and she got through in most of the universities. This time grand dad the family drama king’s absence had made things easy for her.. Priya begged,cried and did all things she could do to convince her kin and kith… and finally she got permission, though most of them disliked her decision of going abroad.

Thus here she was at the air port bidding farewell to her family, her aunts were missing here..  for they didn’t had ‘ so much guts to see their girl leaving’ …

Priya gave a final wave and went into her flight.

She was so relieved and she was doing what she wanted to do… now on she will be on her own…  her dreams will become real and she will make her family proud.. may be they will visit her for her next vacation…

with these thoughts Priya didn’t realized that she had slept until she  woke, by then her plane had landed on Chicago …

Once she was out of  air port, Priya was breathing the chilled fresh air.. she felt so happy…

I am in USA! the thought some how made her happy…  few steps closer to my dream….Priya was thrilled…

soon she settled smoothly at her college and her roommates were very helpful… all three of them belonged to her state so she had no  problem what so ever.

By then her family had called her every day confirming if she was ok… adding to this she had  numerous emails from her cousins and messages from the nephews and aunts.

Only by her first semester’s completion, where her family got satisfied about her safety and became less anxious…. leaving her at peace.

Priya had excelled in her studies and she was so happy with her progress…

It was 15th august and her college had arranged for an Indian student’s association’s Independence day celebration.

Priya was all geared up for the function she was the first to enter into the club hall . Priya sat there thinking, she was holding a pen…  Independence day had always been special for her,she was always a proud Indian…

on an Independence day few years back when she was a small kid her grand dad had gifted her a pen and had said

‘ Priya… here is a gift for you… every time you see this pen, you must remember your country… do you know this is a very special pen… It was given by Netaji to me…!

yes…. he himself gave this pen to me when he left from burma… I was working as an officer under him in his Indian national army…

just remember you are born in a free india… this freedom has come to you with a cost… you must repay to this country… so do something that will make the country proud..ok? ‘

Priya had nodded her head.. she was speechless that day, Priya had always kept that pen safely… she was so proud holding it even now … it had always reminded her of her duty… she is a proud Indian…

she had faced so much resistance to come here.. just to prove herself and to make her country proud…

she will finish her education, will return to India to work and make her country a better place. That was her dream from childhood,that dreams going to be true in few years…

her thoughts were interrupted  by the sudden sound… just then Priya had realize that the hall was filled by students and the celebrations had begun…

before she could take it all…. she didn’t understand what was going on ….

the Indian students who had gathered were dancing to a vulgar film song at high volume!

now fully aware of her environment.. Priya just sat there in a corner stunned … the students were  wearing shorts and t.shirts with Indian flags painted  on them… and few even were half naked – had flags painted on their face , back ….

two guys were holding the Indian flag upside down and were jumping .. Priya realized they were drunk!

Priya just stood there starring at them…. taking it all in.

She felt earth moving under her legs… felt weak … suddenly she held her pen tight in her hands… as if taking her support from it.

‘Iam a proud Indian… i have come here to make my dream…..’ she couldn’t finish her thoughts.. anger swelled in her…

she left the hall… even though she was now far away from the sound… the images she just witnessed was haunting her like a bad dream….

she lifted her head and shook it and walked briskly to her room.

‘hey… hey… come on …. every one.. Priya is on TV…. ‘ Priya’s family was glued to  the TV. ‘Here is a special show on  award winning Indian author….Miss .Priya  India’s Pride’

Priya was watching the show along with her family sipping her tea… smiling to herself…. holding her pen….

she was watching herself say on tv ‘ yes i discontinued my masters degree in USA…..

no.. no regrets at all…

….. yeah iam a proud Indian…’


5 thoughts on “India’s Pride

  1. Subhalakshmi says:

    Well, it is true that the kids do drink during parties and try to blend in like an american college student, but on the other hand, there are students who perform the classical dances and arrange for indian day and serve indian food and display a lot of India’s culture, I feel one should not take one incident and come to a conclusion.. there is always good and bad in the society we live and dwell in.. In my opinion the main charactor Priya should have found he niche and followed her dream and come back to serve her country, instead of quitting prematurely… I have lived here more than 30 years and I can show you incidents where our culture is respected and the best is you can be who you are and nobody would question it..

  2. In my opinion Indian who are away from India loves our nation a lot…but very few do not know the value of freedom and etiquette.. Also for those who go to abroad for higher studies the challenge is to find friends with similar attitude. Once they have right friends they can do wonders not just for India but for the entire world. Many students also go for some 3rd rated foreign colleges…Just fail in exams ..then become Taxi/Truck Drivers to make money ( I trust the video in the clipping may be one such a institution )…There are lot more Good Indian students abroad…

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