The One Day Jolt

14th August 2017
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Independence Day is indubitably, my most favorite national holiday. Especially since our school days, when Independence Day was reserved for us to showcase patriotism in the school assembly, with the tricolor pinned on to our shirts, singing patriotic songs and most of all paying our respect to the countless lives that were sacrificed, to help us reach the historic day of August the 15th, 1947.

It is one of those days when my chest swells with pride on being an Indian, a day when we’re reminded of the rich history and the many sacrifices that have been undertaken, for us to be born and live in an independent India. This feeling is quite contagious, and it’s not surprising to see all Indians celebrating our Independence Day in their own style, even a few days ahead of 15th of August. Some buy a tricolor sticker for their cars or office desks; work spaces dip in the gentle yet powerful aroma of patriotism and TV shows leave no stone unturned to mark the Independence week with their most patriotic content. As an Indian citizen, one couldn’t but be happier to see fellow Indians celebrate the joy of Independence, perhaps the only day when loudspeakers blaring out patriotic songs sound the most melodious as the whole nation forgets the narrow confinements that divide us and is unified by a single identity – of being an Indian. What could be better?

However as 15th of August of every year transitions to the next day, the fervor of patriotism and the love for nation starts to settle down. Sadly, in most cases, this falls right on the ground, sometimes next to the plastic flags that lie on ground, waiting for another wave of patriotism, the civic authorities’ discretion or the mercy of a passing wind to pick them up. The same people that proudly waved these flags in the air, tread on it, without the slightest apprehensions.

In my professional experience, there’s another time when such an apathy for a self-formed idea has been observed – when buying a life insurance policy. The scenario is almost similar in most cases, barring a few aberrations. We notice a near or dear one’s tragedy, which puts financial strain on their respective families. It’s one of those harsh reminders by life that you are but a mortal and there will be things that happen to you that could affect your earning potential, serious things like – disease, disability, or even death. A harsh and powerful reminder that someday you may not be around when your family is experiencing a financial turmoil. Things like these jolt us to action, much like our Independence Day that alights the spark of patriotism in us, albeit temporarily. Our jolt here too is temporary as we tend to forget the fear that arose, on seeing our near one’s mishap. The same insurance premium that for us felt like a financial protector for the dreams of your family, even in your absence, starts to feel like an unnecessary liability. This feeling tends to continue until we witness another mishap and are jolted back to face life’s tough realities again.  However, life is not as kind to everyone to give them multiple reminders; some people face severe tragedies even without a warning.

A famous proverb puts it the best, when it says “Wise men learn by other men’s mistakes, fools by their own.” To me, there are several similarities to the sudden gush of emotions that we feel, both at the time of witnessing someone’s tragedy or at the onset of our Independence Day. With a sincere difference being that 15th of August will come every year, life’s reminders to you, to protect your near and dear ones might not. A nation’s spirits might get dampened with spasmodic spurts of patriotism, but your family’s financial future would nosedive, if you haven’t planned ahead.  My sincere message to everyone is to feel proud of our nation each day, and to plan for the security of your family’s dreams well in advance.

Let’s pledge to stay independent in our hearts and minds forever.

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