When I wake up, I will remember my ancestors. The ancestors that come to me like crows. The crows in my dream peck and break through the glass every morning. Reminding me that I have a duty to the nation. I will begin the day by scrubbing every corner of the house. Swachh ghar, swachh bharat. I will brush my teeth. In up and down, sideways motions like those white lab coat doctors advice in toothbrush advertisements. Activating circulation so that my gums bleed into my shining teeth. India Shining. Blood leaks and stain the wash basin like roadkill in a national park. I will set out of the house to find the poor, the hungry and the lame. They’re not hard to find. Sleeping on the sidewalk. With spines curved like fresh dead fish with rigour mortis just setting in. I will hold my breath and push my tongue to the back of my teeth while talking to them. I will smile at them. They will find no reason to smile back.
When the floods have set in, I will search for food on the food delivery app. It will have a dizzying number of options. I will wish that someone could make the choice of deciding what I should eat. Once I have finally placed the order, I will track the delivery chotu using live-location technology. Digital India has allowed e-commerce platforms to flourish in our country. Unemployed youths are finding jobs and delivering smiles. I will abuse the delivery chotu for losing his way. I don’t care if he has to swim in neck-deep water. Apart from bikes, and helmets, these app companies should give them floats during monsoon. He will arrive twenty minutes back bent and almost breaking. Choking on sewage water, he will collapse near my doorstep. I will perform CPR and bring him back to life. Once he opens his eyes, it is my smiling face that he will see. I will tip him, but not too generously. He must learn how to navigate better.
After scrubbing my teeth clean so they shine, I will go through the papers like any good Indian citizen. Clicking my tongue at the news of suicidal farmers. Farmers have been suicidal for nearly four decades now. Isn’t it raining a lot this year? Shouldn’t that help them? But farmers and workers (and soldiers!) are the backbone of our country. As I get out on my morning walk, I will preach to the poor about non-violence or ahimsa. Farmers should take the example of Gandhiji. They should stop inflicting violence on their own bodies. I will fly the tiranaga, flapping it in the blue sky, and holding it against the sun so it doesn’t get in my eyes. Chanting Jai Hind, so they will chant it after me.