When did you celebrate Republic day last time?

As it happens in north India, 26th January is generally a cold day. In the hills, where I did my schooling from, the republic day eve would either see an overcast sky or it would be raining.

aasha

Aasha Khosa | January 25, 2017 | New Delhi


#Rajpath   #Delhi   #parade   #Republic Day   #Kashmir  


 When did I celebrate Republic day last time? I am thinking about it while negotiating my way through a pin bend curve and the next one created by iron barricades that the police had put up on an east Delhi road. Three of them look at me, mercifully, not so disapprovingly.

It’s time for the annual security drill for Republic day in the national capital and the face-off between the police and the citizens.
 
Not that I mind the scrutiny, the road blocks and all the inconvenience after having braved much more during  10 years of my stay as a journalist in Kashmir. In the Valley, searches of houses and frisking and even identification of militants would begin a month in advance that too in the sub-zero temperature. On the R-day, on one hand, I would thank my stars after emerging unscathed from the official function which was always held under threats of being bombed and on the other felt humiliated at separatists - whose hearts beat for Pakistan - mocking at the very idea of India.
 
For the generation next, Republic day is a much awaited holiday; and time for the families to check on the discounted sales in the shopping malls with the catchy tricolour soaked ambience.
 
After making it through the naka, I wondered where the joy of participating in the Republic day celebrations of my childhood years had gone?
 
It used to take teachers months to cobble a team to represent our schools in the cultural competition on the day. As students, we begged for a small role in a skit, a dance or a chorus which was followed by weeks of practice. Those who didn’t participate in the cultural show would be content to be part of the marching contingent and saluting the national flag in the morning.
 
Preparation would spill over to the homes, with parents helping children ready the suitable dress for the cultural show and whiten the uniforms with lemon juice, bleaching agent etc. Mothers often worried about early transportation of children to school and everyone joined in efforts put up a decent show.
 
As it happens in north India, 26th January is generally a cold day. In the hills, where I did my schooling from, the republic day eve would either see an overcast sky or it would be raining. Our hearts would beat fast at the first sign of freak weather. A classmate told me the trick to beat the weather God who was trying to play spoilsport with the show. She suggested that all of us should go to the terrace late night, try to spot a star in the clouds and while looking at it make a knot in the kerchief. This, she said, would blow away the clouds by the morning.
Even if it could get us punishment from parents, we managed to sneak out of homes in the forbidden hour and go to the terrace in search of the elusive star. It worked.
 
The nostalgia of the day would cling to our minds till the next celebration. The next day would be a holiday, the much-needed one to sleep and get out of the fatigue.
 
As against this, my daughter’s school would be off on the Republic day due to security restrictions.
 
Being the daughter of two journalists, she had seen the grandiose Republic day parade at Rajpath in Delhi once; she would often describe her experience of seeing three colour spewing jets that created a tricolour in the skies. How often I thought of taking her again to the official celebration but was dissuaded by the sheer complexity of logistics.
 
Anyway happy republic day to all!  
 

Comments

 

Other News

On a personal note: Javed Jaffrey

After his much-appreciated debut in Meri Jung in 1985, Javed Jaffrey inspired a new generation of dancers. He then turned from dance to comedy. The versatile actor constantly changes his styles and his live, film, TV and radio appearances always promise novelty and surprise. In 2014 he joined the Aam A

Allegations against CJI: Inquiry will strengthen the independence of the judiciary

Yes, we must stand rock solid with the judiciary and the judges. We must protect the independence of the judiciary too. What does this mean in the present context of a very serious charge of sexual harassment levelled by a former employee of the court against the CJI?  We are told that there is a larg

“Managing data is challenging”

The Centre for Railway Information Systems (CRIS) is a society set up by the railways ministry in July 1986 to provide IT related services to the Indian Railways. CRIS deals in a gamut of functions, like passenger ticketing, freight operations, train dispatching and control, crew management, e-procurement,

A boost to those who need it most

What are 600 million people? Almost twice the population of the US. What are 500 million people? About three-fourth of the population of Europe. Why are we talking about these numbers? Well, because as per a study by Sandhya Krishnan and Neeraj Hatekar (‘Rise of New Middle Class in India and Its

Expanding Eureka!

Abright yellow van with figures of children playing with a whirligig, a Newton’s cradle, a magnetic compass rolls into the Government Higher Primary School in Kittaganahalli, on the outskirts of Bengaluru. Students in the playground leave what they are doing and mill about it in excitement. For they

The spark in the classroom

Not many children dream of starting an idyllic school of their own when they grow up. But Ramji Raghavan, founder of the Agastya International Foundation – which fosters the creative learning of science in stude



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter