Happy Republic Day

One of the best things of being in India is being able to celebrate days like Independence Day and Republic Day.Properly.

It is such a wonderful feeling. And it makes me glad that I am in a way, able to share some parts of my own childhood memories with daughter. Making some memories with some common ground, because no matter what, living in Britain did make it very different for me. Little things like the the national anthem meaning different things to her and us.

Being in India, changes all that. For the first time, we are enjoying the day, feeling the pride, explaining to daughter, the importance of this glorious day. No matter how negative things might seem, I have always felt rather proud of our constitution. And Republic Day, to me, is a symbol of all that is right in our country.

Today, as the National Anthem was sung in daughter’s school, I felt the pride wash over me. The happiness at belonging to a wonderful country, a country with its problems, its flaws, but a country of our own.

Today, brought back memories that had been almost forgotten. Watching the school celebration, my own school memories came flooding back. Memories of preparing hard for the marching, dances and then the day, when we would have a ceremony in our schools, and then rush off to the colony stadium to celebrate with the whole community. What fun it all used to be.

Today, daughter had a taste of it. She had a celebration at school, and we rushed back to the celebrations at our apartment. And we, husband and I enjoyed it all, soaking in the atmosphere.

Hopefully in years to come, daughter will come to truly appreciate and celebrate the day for what it is.

The day we had our first lesson in Politics

This morning while we were having breakfast, Husband switched on the telly, NDTV.  He came over to tell me that BJP activists trying to hoist the flag were stopped by the police.

Daughter, on hearing that jumped up, and asked, ‘Why? Why were those bad people stealing a flag?’ And we both went, ‘No, no’, It’s a long story. And of course, she wanted to hear it. And I had to explain to a 4.5 yr old, how a part of India is not considered  a part of India, and so on. I also tried to explain the concept of our Republic Day. She nodded away. How much she understood, I guess, I will know, when her teacher tells me what she told her in school!

It just reminded me of how difficult it is to explain to a child living in another country, aspects of the country which we come from. When she talks of ‘our country’ she means the UK. The other day, she told me, ‘Our country is an island’, my first instinct was to tell her , ‘No, India is not an island’. Thankfully, I did not :) But you know what I mean, don’t you?

This early morning discussion about the republic day reminded me of my school days. Before long, I was regaling her with tales of all the fun we had back home. Of how we had parades, and schools competing with each other for the best parade at the Tata Motors stadium. It used to be so much fun! And the pride when the national anthem was sung – I don’t think anything could beat that. Even today, when I hear it, my heart swells with pride, and I stand straight, just as we were taught back in school, straight and proud!

Happy Republic Day!