Hunger: A Truth, A Myth
Even as I sit perplexed seeing the apathy of my fellow countrymen who starve, day in and day out, I’m forced to reflect upon my actions and upon those of whom I have known. Indian sub- continent has been garlanded with numerous titles depicting how backward, poverty-stricken and helpless our 75% population is, given no proper source of income and for many, no source at all. My experience can’t account for any person whom I’ve seen going to sleep without food. And even if the headline news flashed some unimaginable number of deaths following starvation, my reaction would be “yeah.. sad”.. I’m today ashamed even to face myself in the mirror. The image in there reflects not just my physical presence but also my insignificant existence while my countrymen die a death, which is unimaginable for most of us. .. and for them it’s a routine affair.
But, how did this realization, this sudden dawn of responsibility and shame came about ? Tonight, while I stood restless in a mess line trying to fight about 7-8 people for food, my anger got the better of me. The mis-management and delay in service was testing my patience, especially when you see people breaking the line and enjoying food that you should’ve got. The frustration following my unsatisfied hunger after a long day made me diverge from the crowd of animals pouncing on the purees as the last remains of flesh on earth. Hungry, Frustrated and tired I came back dragging my selfish being to my room, logged onto my lappy and randomly played a video I’d adored some days ago. The video was titled, “SILENT NATIONAL ANTHEM”.. Now you must be wondering how come we have a SILENT national anthem..!! here I’d like to know from you the number of deaf, dumb and physically disabled people especially children in India. Google gives an estimate of 21 million handicapped people in India. And this video showcased those children ‘singing’ our national anthem in harmony and rhythm with every single patriotic muscle and nerve of my body.
My mind reacted to my ignorance and selfishness of how I’d been angry at not getting enough food, feeling those pangs of hunger, while many lacs go to bed in hope of feeding their children and themselves to a full meal.. someday ! All my anger turned to remorse, my frustration my false ego shattered, giving way to a pure sense of being an Indian.. of being born in this very land.. of being an integral part of this great heritage that I inherit from my forefathers. And if these small children have the spirit and the desire to respect our national flag & our national anthem with such sincerity, how dare I disrespect them. This call made my legs stretch and I stood up to witness the SILENT national anthem retaining the pure essence of patriotism that resided deep within me, but was waiting for hunger to trigger it. I slept a content son of my motherland , that night. And this sky with it’s numerous stars will wonder the effect mere hunger and a group of speechless yet powerful children can have on an individual of my league, ‘coz this night sleep, will give way to a beautiful awakening, a dawn whos’ end isn’t in sight, a belief of changing things, changing lives, making each and every person live a “hunger” free life. And thus I give you, my dear reader, THE SILENT ANTHEM. Let it change you, let you be awakened.