"Yeah! Finally, the long weekend! So, as per our plan, we are going to Goaaaaa!" Ritu yelled!
She along with her friends packed and went to bed to sleep early and leave early for Goa on 15th August.
Post mid-night, there was a knock at the door. Ritu woke up with sleepy eyes and answered. She tried to look who it was. She couldn't see anyone. She thought it must be one of her friends doing the usual prank. She opened the door.
Standing there was a lady in torn and dirty clothes, sad face but the confidence, beauty and elegance on her face couldn't be ignored. Ritu anxiously asked, "Who are you?"
"I am Mother India. Can I come in, Ritu?" the lady spoke.
"Yeah!" Ritu replied. The lady walked in. Ritu held the door and stood there. Facing her back.
Mother India spoke, "68 years have passed since I became free, but I still can't breathe. I feel so strained, deserted and alone."
Ritu stood in silence and was listening to the traumatic and deep voice.
She continued, "When I was not free, I was still clean. There was some laws which people feared. There was respect and love. There was humanity alive. People cared for me too. But now, law has become a joke. Look around. The roads are so dirty, the air is polluted, there is so much noise all around, trees are being cut! Safety of girls, children, child labour. Corruption at every level and there are so many other problems. Each and every problem, let me repeat, each and every problem is as big as being a captive."
There was silence. After a few minutes, she spoke again, "The only hope for me is you. The youth. Who has plans to enjoy the long weekend. Who is deserting me but has a lot of complains. In every other line, they say..arre India mein yehi hota hai....bahar settle hote hai yaar!"
She turned and faced Ritu. She looked into her eyes and continued, "I need you. Now!"
She walked out of the door and closed it behind. Ritu stood there. For long.
Someone was shaking her. She opened her eyes. Her friend was telling her to get up and get ready for the Goa trip. She got up. She spoke, "We are not going to Goa."
Her friends were shocked. All of them together asked, "Are you all right? We are soooo going."
She said, "It's Independence day. Let's give this day to India. Let's do something for her. Let's reach out to the needy. Let's clean the city. Or something. For our India!"
One of her friends spoke, "Have you gone mad? We are really getting late. If you want to come then please, else we will start the trip."
She said, "You may. I won't. I want to live in this country forever. I want to stand up for her, today. Sorry, starting from today, till always."
She left the room. Her friends went out of the house thinking that she has become crazy. They sat in the car.
After an hour Ritu was all set to start her day. Unsure what to do, feeling alone but determined. To her surprise, her friends were there. In the car, waiting for her. One of them spoke, "Mata ji, from where do we need to start? Can you direct us?"
She smiled. With tears in her eyes. She sat in the car happily.
This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative by BlogAdda.
Image Courtsey: All images are from Google.