The song was played. Slowly the spirit took its ascent. As the song progressed, every one watching the proceedings began to feel the sudden pump up of adrenalin.
There was a surge of emotion welling upto the throat even as I looked at the TV screen.
The song played was the ‘National Anthem’ – the one that ensures that you automatically feel your chest beating fast under great emotional upsurge.
As the sound gradually died down, the aspirations of the nation suddenly began to be re-kindled. Every street corner tea-shop-wallah began to see his chest swell 56 inches with pride.
I forgot to sit down even after the anthem had ended. Amma asked me why I was still standing. I didn’t know the answer.
Then I began to see myself on the stage, beside the President, preparing to take oath as the 15th Prime Minister of India.
The hopes of the nation appeared to have been born again. When the man began to take oath in the name of God, I couldn’t control myself. But not knowing how to express my emotion I stood even more erect.
The man slowly but steadily completed swearing his allegiance to the constitution and the nation.
The man who was derided as a tea-vendor and scowled at by elites and called names, had just become the nations’ Prime Minister.
The seat once occupied by Nehru, Shastri and Vajpayee, all statesmen in their own right, was going to be occupied by this erstwhile tea-vendor who had kindled the hopes of 1.2 billion unknown faces. Those unknown faces had, after having been devastated morally, economically and socially by elites for the past some many years, began to see a savior emerge from the shadows to lead them to safety.
And who was watching this humble tea-vendor take oath? An erstwhile fisherman who also doubled up as the nations’ finest missile engineer and later it’s President, saw the tea-vendor take oath. And he should have smiled for it is only in this nation a fisherman and a tea-vendor could occupy high positions and yet remain un-affected by the strappings of power.
And the national anthem sounded again. I didn’t need to stand up for I had never sat down during the whole session.
And what did this ending note of the anthem signify ?
What more could it mean other than the peaceful transfer of power between diametrically opposite groupings without any semblance of resistance or hesitation. It also meant that the business of governance would continue albeit In a better manner.
What had been restored was the pride of the nation that seemed to signify that no matter how highly placed you might be, you are one of the 1.2 billion faceless yet equal figures.
When I later boarded the aircraft back to Singapore, I was wondering if I was doing the right thing by leaving a ‘Modi’fied India.
Well, the nation is in safe hands. So why worry anymore? So thinking, I proceeded to the immigration counter, passport in one hand.
The Lion on the passport seemed to assure me that ‘All would be well’..