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From Aug 15 to Aug 15

August 15, 2016

Girls with tri-colour lipstick 🙂  Wow India, that must be the spirit !!!


For last Independence Day we had a stage performance of Zumba – Zumbathon for a continuous 4 hours in a school auditorium with no air-conditioning.  Normally we don’t do any fitness class without an a/c running to full blast in the background. My Yoga master in Chennai would frown about that and keep it mild. Yoga is supposed to be done in open fresh air.

So we couldn’t believe we derived the kind of energy to go on nonstop for 4 hours doing the zumba with a great gusto on a sultry evening. Many training schools had joined us. Interestingly all ladies were 40+ or atleast 30+ which made the event special. The proceeds went to a charity.

When we say independence and freedom, I guess we can even use this single phenomenon as a yardstick to measure how far India as a nation has traveled since 1947. Husbands and children only cheered us the middle-aged ladies. It was not taboo to go up on stage with your gang and do one or two jigs/numbers leading the crowds to follow you with cheers. In fact families have been very supportive of us women when it came to physical fitness.

This year on independence day I took a drastic decision. My hair has been problematic some time now with tight curls. A comb inserted wouldn’t just come out free of my sparrow nest of hair. Friends and family have been urging me to go for hair-treatment that I resisted firmly. Finally gave in after the split ends started invading the frizzy hair. Not so far used hair colour either, but I have been warned not to use Mehendi on hair from now on which is blamed to be a reason for the roughness.

Freedom from tangles at last hahaha!

I am not a salon hopper either. My zumba friends recommended this unisex parlour that I stepped into with great trepidation. The guy guessed immediately that I was new to it all. Getting a beauty treatment done by a man itself is a big and new thing for me. It was strange sitting next to a middle-aged man who was getting his hair cut when my treatment was going on. On either sides were men. OMG my first thought was, what’s happening here. How am I surrounded by men, in a man’s world, with a man shampooing my hair and drying it up ???

Freedom to me is this as well. Coming back home I could tell my MIL, my aunt, my friends and my husband how a man shampooed and treated my hair. Definitely at almost 48, it is a big deal for me and a life-changing experience. Later on I saw some working girls and younger girls and even lady beauticians, but I did freeze when the man suggested I must also get a facial and pedicure done. A man, even if expert, giving you tips like this is … well… so odd… ! Looks like for ladies under 30 this is usual. They seemed to know the attendants/hair stylists well and addressed them using their first names. Very comfortable in unisex environs. Yet, for me from my generation, this is a huge step forward.

Twenty years back I don’t think I would have been able to do what I did last Independence Day or this Independence Day. To me, average Indian Nari has since walked and covered some distance in the intervening period.

‘You needn’t have done anything; I loved you with your frizzy hair’ said my husband. True but I did not seek a beauty treatment. I wanted a strengthening therapy.

To afford both Zumba and Keratin, one must enjoy a level of independence if you ask me! Atleast financially! To think that these are viewed as normal, routine things in my society is awesome. It means, change in attitude in a lot of things, more equality among sexes, less inhibitions, more broad-mindedness, more awareness, willingness to learn, willingness to move on to next level, progressive outlook among other things.

On way to shopping with my friend who wanted me to choose her new clothes in Chennai Silks, saw a number of school children returning from flag hoisting in neat uniforms. In the showroom, we were greeted with national flags and eclairs chocolate. So the whole day I had the tri-colour pinned to my dress. In the salon I saw that every single staff had the tri-colour sticker pasted to his/her cheek. Nice and quiet bonhomie without a fuss, without exhibitionism, over-statement and jingoism. Not a single shop was closed and everyone went about their businesses. In fact I booked my new washing machine today replacing the old one. From textiles to electronics to beauty business, everyone seemed brisk. One sweet thing was the 5% special Independence day rebate.

Over all I can say India did well and India continues to do well year after year since 1947. I like the relaxing feeling we have on 15th August nowadays. It means we have done something good and solid. There is a feel-good factor in our midst.

I don’t wanna do post-mortem of 1947. India the software giant, India the Mars flier and India Incorp is something we did AFTER 1947, something credible to show after we parted ways with Pakistan. Like Pakistanis can never stake a legitimate claim to anything Bharathiya, an ancestry, culture and heritage pedigree by 10,000 years and more, neither do they have anything to add to what India is today on Aug 15, 2016. India is pretty much our own making.

Thank you Jinnah! You made it possible for the sons and daughters of Bharatha to be what we are today!





From → Dilli Durbar

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