What do ordinary people do on 15th August? Is the day just like any other day? Is there still the pride and patriotic fervour we used to see as children?
Around where I live, I see a lot of activity on the morning of 15th August. The office next door has a formal flag hoisting on the terrace, so we wake up to a choice of patriotic songs (no dearth of those!) from their loudspeaker. Along the road, every basti hoists its own flag; in some places, one can see 3-4 flags with a few metres of each other! Mornings are hectic as children wake up early and go to school, dressed either in nicely pressed uniforms, or in formal Indian wear. Malini proudly wore India colours this morning. In her school, this is an occasion for earlier batches to meet up and re-live happy times in school.
In our apartment complex, we gather on the terrace, hoist the flag and then sing Jana gana mana. It is a beautiful moment, always, and a simple, symbolic gesture to show our respect for the country we live in.
Last night, passing by the Secretariat and Legislative Assembly, we gasped at the breathtakingly beautiful illumination of the monuments. The city looked decked up and special. A friend told me Charminar looked great too. In a shop window I saw a row of mannequins dressed in white, holding little flags...a very interesting sight, indeed! I am happy that despite all the problems and the criticism, there is still this spirit, which is evident every Independence day, and of course, each time India wins a cricket match!
India is 65, and certainly moving forward, in spite of politicians! I pray that this year, the rich in India get slightly poorer and that the poor get a lot richer.