# Day 38 ( A Blast from the Past…)

4 Jul 2015

Just last week i was reading an article in the Lifestyle-section of a newspaper on how the ‘swinging-seventies’ were the fashion flavour of the season. All that talk of flared bell bottoms and platform heels (reborn in today’s palazzo pants and wedges), the flowing maxi-dresses, polka dot tops, beads and head-bands brought back a rush of nostalgia for those heady times.

But then i wryly realise that nostalgia tends to lend a glow to even the most mundane of memories. When a generation looks back, specially at their teen years, even the most ordinary of times become the ‘good old days’! You remember not just the happy moments from your own youth, but tend to look upon the whole decade as being more colourful, more exciting and even more innocent and simple.

Many compare India of the seventies to the sixties of the West…a time when suddenly things became more alive and vibrant with a rocking popular culture that was rewriting old rules in fields such as movies and music. But to many of us there was also a more subtle awakening…the beginning of a search for self definition, a move away from an ideology inherited from the British to our ancient culture and wisdom. Getting inspiration from what we had been, we were looking to unleash our country’s future potential. Of course, politically and economically many events of that decade had far reaching consequences on our nations destiny…and that’s another topic for unending discussions and debates!

But today from my scrapbook of memories i share snippets of a poem that was published as a full page ad in the newspaper that came home. Unfortunately i can’t recollect more of its context but in many ways it brings out the dichotomy that defines us as a country…

“I was born unwelcome into an overcrowded land

But I have shared my home with the exiled

      I exist in a village imprisoned by my fields

      But in quest of my spices man discovered a globe

I adorn my emaciation with the tatters of penury

But I have gifted the world the luxury of fine muslin

     I grew up untutored, unmusic’d and unsung

     But my syncopated sitar has driven nations to frenzy

I am surrounded by children with malnourished minds

But I have given man his first philosophy 

     I sleep in the sewers of my homeless cities

     But I have built a marbled Taj Mahal

I have taught my child the arts of Science

But I have seen him forsake my shores

     I see my brother outraged by my prejudice 

     But I have elevated him to the highest office

My bigotry sundered a subcontinent in two

But I have given man his most tolerant faiths

      I have wounds on my body which no one will heal

      But I have staffed the world with doctors 

I am named by many names, in a babel of tongues 

But I have adopted a name by strangers given: India!”

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About sunsur81

A gatherer of thoughts...exploring myths,metaphors and expressions of life...
This entry was posted in 365 Days Blog-roll, Thought snippets, Wizardry of Words and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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