Till my high school days Independence Day was more than a holiday to me. It was more than those 2-3 patriotic songs being played in loop for the whole day.
” Don’t even think about staying at home tomorrow. I will take the attendance for sure. ” -my class teacher used to say this every year on the day before Independence Day. No wonder how much I believed it to be true. I was never too smart to notice that all the teaching staff would be so busy that they wouldn’t have time to care about who didn’t turn up. My school used to start at 10. But on 15th August the function used to start 3 hours earlier than that. From middle school I gave up being a morning person. But for such auspicious occasions I had to be one. I didn’t have any part in the organising committee, the performers, singing, dancing, reciting, decorating or anything.
But one thing I had confidence in. I could draw the map of our country pretty well. I have drawn a couple of times on the blackboard. As part of decoration, they used to make a map of India with flowers with the 3 colors of our national flag on our playground. I would have loved to do it, nobody ever let me join though.
We used to have flag hosting followed by series of patriotic songs, dance-drama, recitation. We have to stand there for the whole time. Classrooms used to be locked and you have to stand in the balcony to get the best view. I could see the map and wonder how magnificent it was. Marigolds, sweet smelling white flowers and green leaves- and in the centre they used to make Asoka Chakra- with small blue flowers. It was almost like puja but Gods were our freedom fighters, religion was only one- Indian. Some of the performance always got me, those heart wrenching stories made me thankful for the life we had. And the national anthem, I still have goosebumps whenever I hear it. I don’t understand what magic it has but it works every time.
After the function, they used to distribute some snacks box. I could never have breakfast at home, by that time my enzymes would have digested half of my entrails getting no food. The box had the cheapest sweet and cheapest snack that could they found but it never tasted bad.
My childhood memories are so mediocre. Just now I realized that. But even then these memories are precious and close to my heart.
That’s all for today. Stay well guys. Much love xo