(Thanks Aruna for the suggestion to post this video here today).
While growing up, Independence day and republic day of India were big occasions for all kids. There used to be preparations for the parade weeks before these days.
On the big day, there used to be flag hoisting in our school early in the morning. Then our teachers would take us in a procession to a old fort in a nearby village called ‘Mirjan’. There, the kids of all neighboring schools would gather. The Chairman of the Mirjan gram(village) would hoist the flag and give a speech. They would distribute some sweets/candys to all the kids and we would come back to our respective schools. Ohh, I can’t explain how happy we used to be to get those sweets/candys, even though we used to eat like princes/princesses daily at home, those small pieces distributed on these days were a big treat for us. We also got to meet so many other school children, some of whom were very arrogant to talk and some were very friendly. I also remember, only 4+ standard(grade) children were taken to this fort because it was quite far and we had to walk all the way.
When I was in 4th, for some reason, they didn’t take us and I started crying out of frustration, teachers had a tough time to calm me down. Then my pappa took me to the fort in the evening to show the flag.
While we enjoyed in school, my parents would sit glued to the TV to watch flag hoisting on Red fort. They would watch the hoisting, parade and then speech by our Prime minister. This year, pappa was terribly missing all these, then he read the newspaper from start to finish to get the updates.
Aayi and pappa were telling all these stories to my husband yesterday, I wished I could go back to those days again, at least for one day. I am sure at least few of you have similar memories and if you are outside India, you must have terribly missed all the celebrations.