Do I really love my country? #LemonJuiceToOurColonialHangover

I have been back in India for 3 months now and there have been so many times I have started to write my blog on #lemonjuicetoourcolonialhangover…but could never bring myself to write. And anyone who knows me, knows that if given a platform to express, I would not run out of content..So today I thought to myself – Why?

The more I think about it is, I realise that its because of the filters I want to ensure I keep on, because, well, India is my country. Moving back to India was not due to circumstances but completely thought out choice. I so intuitively knew this was the right thing for me to do. But has it been challenging? One could say both yes and no.

When I write about it, I feel like I SHOULD write and I SHOULD operate out of gratitude, not out of victimisation, SHOULD be positive, not focus on the negatives. But is that a bad thing? Is that true patriotism?

Do we ever feel that? About our situation, about people, about choices made? Trying to be positive, trying to be grateful, trying…and in that process should’ing all over ourselves? I often do. But the truth is, it should not be such an effort (the irony of that ‘should’ just hits me!).

Love is effortless. Sustaining that love BECAUSE of things is effortful. And that applies to my country too. Nidhi Chaitanya once said “even if they seem rational, most people are in reality are just emotional beings, who have never known what true love is.” And until then I thought that everyone around me was rational. But when I put them through the lens of that statement, I realised how much truth there is in that. We are never taught how, what love is. And because of that life becomes a playing field of trial and error and mimicking what is read in media, people, relationships, movies which exist in the immediate radius of my circumference, without ever making the effort to enquire into what love even is?

Bring this back to how to love my country – unless thought out, I assume that I can’t agree that my country is not perfect, it is flawed, and yes we are all working towards it. We have to. But admitting to that feels deceitful to my country and also puts the responsibility on me to fix it. I don’t have the courage to take that mammoth task on, nor do I want to be labelled as unpatriotic. But the intelligent mind still looks, observes, and judges and tries to move on.

Now here is what I do next – Why do I love my country? There is only one right answer to it – For the sake of loving. I don’t live in denial that it is flawed or flawless, I don’t agree that it is my responsibility to fix it all, and I certainly don’t agree to turn a nelson’s eye to intelligent observations made. But operating out of victimisation is not an option..ever.

India is a beautifully rich country with unbelievable history and wealth of all forms and shapes. But that is not why I love it. I love it for the sake of loving it, because I find an identification with an entity beyond myself and I want to make it an opportunity to expand my sense of I and I am not limited to just the boundaries of this body, mind and intellect. What is that identification? It is with merely the fact that my lineage is rooted in this land.

Once expressed, all its flaws remain as mere observations and the responsibility of fixing it is not just mine because I am not limited to just being me by the definition of the name, shape and form I feel I own. I am only an instrument of change, of light, of love – instrument being the key word here. So no matter what I do/think/feel – I am being an instrument, however big or small. So the responsibility is not on my shoulders, because the instrument is never responsible of the action, the master of the instrument is. And that master is that altar of love – be it my family, my country, my vision for my country, my principles, my ideals, my God. The bigger the altar, the better. So when I operate out of this empowered surrender to that altar, it becomes a joy to live or die for it, every smallest action becomes a contributor towards that vision and avenues open up to find more and more expression of that oneness, of that love.

So I observe, I see, but I love my country – not in spite of, not because of – but for the love of loving. Can we do that? I am ready and all set to do this thought exercise. Are you?

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