Yet another Independence day has passed us by- this year too we had flag hoisting at our colony. It was the collector – he was scheduled to arrive by 9 a.m and on the dot he alighted from his vehicle. Our association president however had announced that the flag hoisting would be held at 8 a.m and so most of us assembled by 8.15. It was a deliberate ruse, we later heard- to ensure that most of the residents would be assembled by the actual time! We did not know of this ruse, and began grumbling about how the collector was not punctual as usual.
A couple of the residents gave speeches about the country, Independence, about today’s generation not being aware of the significance of the sacrifice of our leaders….when there were no more volunteers to speak, patriotic songs blared from the loud speakers.
Suddenly one of the ladies remembered an old Paatti ( grandmother) in the colony who was a good orator and had apparently taken part in the freedom struggle. A couple of ladies went to call her and she came immediately mighty pleased. However she did not forget to whisper in our years, “if you had informed me about this earlier, I’d have dressed up for the occasion. It is important to be presentable. Clothes make the Emperor and the beggar”.
She marched up the dais confidently- a sprightly woman in spite of her age, and gave a short but inspiring speech without ado. After the speech she sang a song penned by the great poet Bhaarathiyaar.
The collector came on time and hoisted the flag- there were a few speeches, the usual distribution of flags and sweets, and some women who had hurriedly got together sang a patriotic song.
Last year not many residents had assembled for the function, but this year many turned up though some preferred to watch the proceedings from their balconies.
Perhaps one does not often think about the country’s Independence, so many of us tend to take such things for granted- I was born into a free India, and though I am aware fo the problems and achievements of my country at some level, I cannot claim to have raised a finger towards doing my mite. On the other hand it is quite possible that I too have lamented about the corrupt system, I too have complained about the politicians- and then quite complacently resumed reading blogs…
It is true that I very rarely visualize things or incidents at a National level- I tend to think of Humanity at large, the geographical barriers notwithstanding, and yet, I realise that it is important to remember the strides that our country has taken down the years. I am not clear as to what role I can play – may be I can start with just trying to be a good human being, and trying to bring up my children to the best of my capacity, trying to instill healthy values in them. Beyond that, at this point I am not too sure how I can contribute to the growth of my Nation.