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“At the stroke of the midnight hour, as the world sleeps…” a loudspeaker chirped somewhere outside. A nation was being born, the doctor informed us silently in stark darkness as it was probably an unwanted child.

I was sitting right in the labour room listening to the suppressed moaning and despair of my motherland, somewhere on the newly drafted border where the clamps were placed and the umbilical cord was to be cut. The child was already smeared with the mother’s blood, as if it wasn’t enough.

“Are we brave enough and wise enough to grasp this opportunity and accept the challenge of the future?” The question came out from the same loudspeaker as I was yearning to answer it with another question… What about the present sir, are we brave enough to face the present? I used my own hand to suppress my voice as I could still hear the ravaging footsteps close by.

It was only midnight and the day seemed to be on a far off shore, it felt like I was trapped in an abyss, which had already consumed the rest of my family. At that moment, I couldn’t feel the sorrow of losing my loved ones; my heart was numb with fear.

However bold one may sound, the very thought of mortality, the moment when we realize our own vulnerability, it does make us go weak in the knees. I was clinging to that umbilical cord with an inherent emotion…they can cut us apart, they can throw me away like an unwanted child, but they won’t be able to disconnect our emotions, I’ll still be your child.

I was lying in the haunting darkness under my bed like a baby in the womb waiting for the dawn to break. Ahhh! The darkness was suddenly broken by another blood smeared hand as the loudspeaker chirped out again, “We have to build the noble mansion of free India where all her children may dwell.”



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