The seven o' clock news is going to inform me that the King, the Prime Minister and the Crown Prince have sent cables of good wishes to the Indian leadership on account of the country's independence day. And then, tonight, the Embassy will host their reception and all the beautiful people in Bahrain will be present in their glory. The lucky few will get their photographs splashed in tomorrow's newspaper while others will have made sure that they are properly 'covered' in next month's 'Bahrain This Month'. I know who will be there and am quite certain they'll be hovering close to the cameras with their glasses in hand.
I won't be there because I have stayed away from most of the Indian clubs and associations. Too much of politics and too much of showbusiness. I find it hard to handle these personality issues disguised as social causes. And even harder to see, 'uncle' characters behaving like little children. Alright. I know I am being very bitchy but I am only nostalgic, that's all.
I prefer the old times. The days when 26th January and 15th August meant a special showing of a Hindi movie in Awal Cinema preceded by an entertainment show by Sushil Bhatia and company. This was in the mid-seventies when it was rare to see the latest movies on screen, and Sushil Bhatia's gang were our only source of Bollywood songs. I remember chickening out of the 'Yadoon ki Baraat' group song because I didn't want to sing with the other kids. Not that I wanted to do a solo but just didn't want to do it, that's all.
Now those days are gone. And instead of this family-like atmosphere that once pervaded the national day celebrations now we have these pompous events that are excrutiatingly embarassing. Maybe it's because there have been major changes in the people. Maybe there are just far too many Indians and it's difficult to bring back the old atmosphere. Maybe I'm still an expat with his head stuck in the past. Maybe just maybe...
In anycase, some traditions do not change. And Bahrain TV will be showing a short documentary on India, and, as usual, I'll be missing it. Somehow they always choose the wrong time to show it and since it's going to be another supplement type of documentary I know I wont be missing much. Why can't Bahrain TV do something good for a change and show 'Mangal Pandey' instead? Now that will save me a trip to the cineplex, and make me sing praises to Bahrain TV.