aug 15

AKIKO’S DIARY: Aug 14, 1945

It has been a full 8 days. 192 hours since everything went up in smoke and blood and gore spilled. A small town is now a part of history. My Hiroshima lies trembling, charred and crumbling with only the cries of broken limbs to be heard. And tomorrow Japan will surrender! Nothing makes sense anyhow. What good will happen now? No one will come back from the dead. This city and its people won’t recover…not for another hundred years. Not ever. Life has surrendered and I bow out.

PRE PARTITION INDIA: Viceroy’s house.  Early hours of June 3, 1947

His Excellency thought to himself – no matter what I do, there is no way this can end well! He thought of morning that was about to rise from the East – the same East from where he had drawn his inspiration for the final date. The machinations of the Mountbatten plan will be public knowledge by the time this day comes to a close – the date of India’s independence. Not a year from now as was declared earlier, but on the anniversary of Japans surrender – Aug 15. At least history will have another event to remember this date by, his Excellency thought to himself.

PAKISTAN, Aug 14, 1947

Surely the Quaid-i-Azam would have had a sound sleep that night. A lifetime of work and dream had paid off. “Pakistan” was here to stay. A dream had taken the shape of a country. He had fought tooth and nail for it. He had believed in this more than anything. He had wanted this more than anything.

Would his neighbors’ imminent celebration mar his own? Would they be forever treated as a gangrened limb? Would history look favorably upon him and the country of his creation? Would he live long enough to see his dream prosper and grow?

Surely the Quaid-i-Azam slept soundly that night.

INDIA, Aug 14, 1947

Feet shuffled forth sending ripples out into the river of joyous celebrating multitudes that were gathering here. Everyone was eager to be present to see history being created. A dream which had been fought for over 200 years was being achieved in their lifetime. There were loud shouts of joy! Jai hind! We are free! Crackers were being burst and sweets were being distributed. Everyone came out on the streets wherever they could not come to the center of the city. Loudspeakers were installed in a jiffy and people tuned into their radio sets to listen into the All India Radio broadcast as this day came to an end and a new chapter was to be writ.

So, at the stroke of midnight hour, while the world slept…

INDIA, Sometime in 2013

I am dying a slow death. One by one they are stripping me and ensuring that I cease to exist.

I am Freedom.

Once upon a time, not so long ago, they waged a long and hard struggle to attain me. Some fine lives were laid down to ensure that this country lived by my dictates – free!

And now, no one wants Me anymore. I have been snatched from the citizens & the masses. Not Me but someone else dictates what is it that they can do, what they can watch or write about, where they can go and how can they go there…heck, even what they wear is being dictated by someone other than me – Freedom! And with every passing day they are taking away the right to live as well.

I am dying wondering what happened to the pledge made not so many years ago to fulfill the tryst with destiny that had once been made!