A Nation Claps: An Expression for Gratitude & Hope

Bharath Kumar Balasubramanian

Bharath Kumar Balasubramanian Mar 22 · 3 min read

How a simple expression of gratitude can be much much more!

Today, I saw my nation coming together. All differentiating lines were forgotten — we were just that — a nation battling against an unseen enemy.

The Indian Prime Minister, Hon’ble Narendra Modi had asked for a ‘Janata Curfew’ today (March 22nd) in India.

‘Janata Curfew’ is essentially a people’s curfew . On the lines of Abraham Lincoln’s famous statement in Gettysburg address— of the people, by the people, for the people. We were requested to stay locked-in the whole day. What we should have done by default was being asked of us!

One additional request was for all of us to come out and clap, expressing our gratitude. I thought it would be a frivolous exercise. I though people will dismiss the idea and stay indoors.

I couldn’t have been more wrong!

AT 4:58 Pm itself, we could hear claps and metal plates clanging. Every balcony and every rooftop had people standing. Plates clanging, bells ringing, whistles and claps — filled the air.

The effect was overwhelming! Here are some lines that i penned immediately after:

The sound of solidarity!

I heard the claps all around

From every direction, there was sound.

— —

The claps did not tell me who it was,

Was it a Hindu, Muslim or a different mass?

— —

The claps did not mention the political affinity.

Was it a Modi bhakt or the congress fraternity?

— —

The claps hinted no economic belonging ,

Was it a millionaire or a penniless beggar ringing?

— —

The claps revealed no caste as well,

From the hands of all castes, did the sound wave swell.

— —

We clapped furiously to express our gratitude,

For the ones serving us despite the fortitude.

— —

We clapped for the noble hands that were helping,

In curing others, their lives they were risking.

— —

While corona adds victims to the list of fatalities,

Our prayers to the universe will make recovery possible!

— —

Clapping was the least we could for these heroes,

A salute for those who made our living possible!

— —

I know that they saved another day,

While tears welled up, I kept clapping away! I just kept clapping away!

This was not merely the sound of claps.

It was a nation coming together. It was hope and optimism coming together. It was gratitude getting expressed while motivating our essential services to keep going. It was humanity coming together in this war against the virus.

It is the least we could so. Jai Hind. Stay Safe.

A big shout-out to all the health workers, doctors, nurses, police and all the essential services personnel around the world for your efforts.

You are keeping us safe, and gifting us life.

Thank you!