What is different about today?
Well, for starters, it's the 26th of January and for the first time I am not in a patriotic mood. I haven't done my usual routines: finding an ethnic outfit of the colors of the flag, wake up early to watch the parade, watch Border or 1942 A Love Story... You know, all the usual things that I've grown up doing on this day of the year. My alarm did ring this morning, trying to wake me up to catch the live parade, but I shut it off mournfully and went back to sleep. I am dressed in purple. And no movies for me; I have to scrub the house clean all day so my mother, who is arriving early tomorrow morning, is not given a chance to find fault with my very first solo apartment setup.
Today is different because I do not find a reason to celebrate. Today is different because I cannot watch the telecast that I normally love watching because I want to kick in the teeth of the smiling faces of the men and women in power who mock us everyday with their indifference. Today is different because while the troops make a big show of their artillery, the unjustified deaths of tortured soldiers go unnoticed. Because while sweet little girls dance and display our beautiful culture, rapists go unpunished. Today is different because for the first time in my rather country-loving life, I am a skeptic.