Happy Independence Day to all my readers! Although Independence Day comes once a year, as an independent woman with a mind of my own, I feel one should celebrate one’s independence every day – by exercising the freedom to feel, think and express!
As a kid, Independence Day meant a lot to me – the choir performance, rehearsals for the functions, march past, tricolour flowing with pride amidst the salute of rose petals! Wow! I used to look up to the chief guests at our school function every year and wonder they are so lucky to hoist the flag!
As they say, life throws the unexpected when you expect the least. Two months into our marriage, Mr. Hubby & I decided to make full use of the long weekend Independence Day was offering. So, with our friends, we set forth to explore the beautiful locales of Almora & Ranikhet. I still remember having reached the KMVN guesthouse late in the evening before the I-Day & crashing in bed just after dinner. Our room faced the front lawn of the guesthouse.
On the morning of Independence Day, I woke up to spot the beautiful tricolour wrapped from my room window. Usually I give the Independence Day functions a miss. But somehow that day, the hills around, innocent faces of the locals gathered and the wrapped tricolour waiting to unfold fragrance of freedom with the rose petals filled me up with a child like excitement. And the patriotic me woke Mr. Hubby & friends. “Hey, they have organized a flag hoisting here! U will also get laddooos! Let’s rush!” I screamed as a sleepy and surprised Mr. Hubby took baby steps to the lawn, rubbing his eyes.
Everything was set, the tricolour, patriotic songs, laddoos. Just that there was one problem – there was no chief guest. The manager of the guest house along with another official were doing the never ending “pehle aap, pehle aap”. Probably they desired some third person to come and invite one of them to do the honours. Third person did intervene, only to make matters worse for them!
That third person was me - God knows what enthusiasm got me that moment – I walked up to them and said “Can I hoist our tricolour?” They first looked at me in shock, for, clad in a long skirt & jacket, I looked far from a chief guest. But I did wear the right smile and the right tone. They must have been annoyed, for I was about to snatch their chief guest moment. But still, they were really sweet enough to say “Sure, let’s change things by getting the flag hoisted by a lady this year!” I was all smiles & couldn’t believe this had happened to me!
A shocked Mr. Hubby rushed to grab the camera as he didn’t want to miss even a single moment of his wife’s VIP moment!
As I pulled the string and the tricolour unfolded its beauty, I promised the tricolour that no matter what happens around me, I will never lose faith in my nation. I may not express my patriotism formally but I will definitely keep the flame alive in my heart – by doing my bit to better things around me.
Dreams do come true. No matter how much we crib about the sorry state of things, if we dream of a better nation, someday it will come true, we just have to make the first move….Just like my dream of hoisting the flag came true! My Chak De Moment!
And to those of you who still doubt my story, here’s a proof of me giving a tom n jerry smile and hoisting the tricolour!