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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Chp 87. Independence Day. Woohoo!!!

Nothing can beat the feeling of being a free citizen while laying back on my bean bag enjoying that feeling and watching the Independence Day function on Doordarshan.

I switched on the TV around 11am. I had just returned from the ground floor of our Apartment, where there was a short Flag hoisting ceremony held. It was a great feeling to be there, standing in attention as our National flag was hoisted and the National anthem was played. At first I was a bit reluctant to go down alone because of a tad wee shyness as I was still pretty much new here in our Mumbai Apartment. But I saw so many familiar faces once I was there: phone booth uncle, milk shop uncle, barber uncle, internet uncle, cigarette shop uncle, and there were many other residents whose face I recognized too. We wished each other a Happy Independence day and then there were sweets distributed. Children of our Apartment who scored above 70% in the recent 10th std exams were awarded. T’was a great feeling indeed.

The Independence Day Parade on TV was just about to start when I reached my flat. The commentary was in English. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think it used to be only in Hindi some time ago right? Anyway, the commentaries were well executed. I think I caught a glimpse of one of the commentator and also from his voice, I am sure it was none other than NDTV’s Srinivasan. He rocks!

There were two commentators. One sucked. Srini seemed to be trying his best to bail him out every time the other guy stuttered or couldn’t find the words to complete his sentences. Sometimes, it sounded like those MBA entrance Group Discussion, where people tried to butt in while the other person spoke, just for the sake of speaking, and eventually when that person managed to butt in and silence the other guy, he realized there was nothing constructive or relevant to the topic that he could talk about .

Anyway, I never realized this before, but the 21 gun salute executed by the Artillery division while the National Anthem played was in sync with the beat of the song! Amazing. It was not just some random 21 blasts from the canons. Every shot fired synchronized with a drum beat of the National Anthem! Very well timed precision triggering indeed.

The personal Body guards of the PM. Man, these guys looked really freaking fit. I’m sure they can run from my Apartment at Andheri East to Bandra and back again in less than half an hour. Dressed in black suits and dark glasses, I was just wondering whether these guys were trying to copy the way the Secret Service Agents of USA guarding the President dressed like. Because I remembered when Mr.Vajpayee was the PM, one of his personal bodyguards was of a mongoloid origin. I don’t know if he’s from Nepal or the Northeast, but that dude was there at the background in most of Vajpayee’s pictures. Tall, fair, bald at the front (yay!), lean and medium built, I’ve never seen him wear dark glasses. He was always alert and looking everywhere while walking behind Vajpayee. He even sat in the same car with the ex-PM on his tours.

The PM’s speech lasted for around 45 minutes. It was in Hindi so I couldn’t understand most of it but I could make out it was pretty patriotic .

Finally, the moment I was fervently waiting for came. The Independence Day Parade. I love watching the Military Parade, where all the various Armed forces of India march in great unison, where all the latest and existing Tanks, Fighter jets and Rockets were displayed with great pride. And then there was also the Parade by all the States of India, each one displaying their unique cultural dances in traditional attire. The particular Parade was not just inspirational but also educational. Man, my heart was skipping a beat as that moment was approaching. But suddenly, the Independence Day Function was over, Doordarshan said thankyou and rolled out the credits. I was like “What the…???” .

I thought I must have missed that Parade while I was downstairs participating in the Flag hoisting ceremony. But then, there was no way I could have missed the entire Parade. And the PM Dr. Manmohan Singh was visiting all the Memorials of past PMs so the Parade couldn’t have been held in his absence. What the hell was going on???? I thought maybe the Parade was cancelled due to Terrorist threats.

And then my sister came home. When I told her about it, she looked at me and said “Idiot, what you’re talking about happens at the REPUBLIC DAY Parade”.

AH!!!!! Silly silly silly silly me. I got my Parades all mixed up. Yes, it was then that I remembered all those display of Arms and Might and Culture happens only at the Republic Day Parade, not the Independence Day Parade. Damn, I suck! Hehe. I should be imprisoned for this. I’ve been watching that Parade every Republic Day since I was a small boy. How did I ever get it all mixed up suddenly this year? As my friend Varasidhi would have said, I’ve just made a boo boo.

Anyway it feels great to know that the Independence Day functions all over India went off peacefully without any incidents inspite of the high alert warning sounded by the Government. India rox. Woohoo!!!

Here is a toast, my brothers and sisters, to all our Freedom Fighters, who had sacrificed their lives so unselfishly, so that we could be free citizens, free Individuals, free Indians, free you and I. Cheers.


Anonymous said...

Man, even i miss watching those parades on Doordarshan and getting goodies after the flag hoisting in school.
vande matram

Jerusha said...

Independence day lawm tawk lek I la ni ..sweet ei tih vel :))

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

I remember how disappointed everyone would be if Independence day would fall on a sunday or saturday{when classes scheduled were minimal compared to the torture we would have rest of the weekdays).
The only memory I have of my independence days as a child was waking up early morning unwillingly and dressing up in my white uniform. And as I stood in the line patiently I would ALWAYS wonder what would happen if would rain now? Some insane random thought...oh however it did come true when I was in manipal!;)[THANK GOD!]
I dont mean to say I am not patriotic or I dont understand the value of our freedom struggle, and I know all these national days are very very significant, but i dont know where I lost it.
To me , my idea of patriotism is when you have your veins grushing with blood ,the hair on your back stands and your heart proudly beams as you sing the national anthem.
There thats the only patriotic element in me and knowing that i dont have to wait for aug 15th or jan 26th to tell me how proud I should be, makes me pleased with myself!:)
P.S!!KIMAAAAAAAA!!i cant believe you went for the falg hoisting thing in your building!OMG!!!:P

NoHiddenDepths said...

I swear allen! you spoke the words right out of my mouth.. Hahaha