Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Another Day? (Republic Day Special)

The Republic Day arrives with a comfortable familiarity every 26th of January. Morning, the blare of loudspeakers playing patriotic songs…The flag hosting in housing colonies accompanied with the sounds of clapping, the distribution of sweets. School children happy at the assembly, energetically joining the call – Jai Hind!

The Republic Day parade playing on the television screen...wonder what the Indonesian President thought of our military display…does it make our foreign guests insecure, each year, as they watch tanks, missiles and other artillery pass?

Sports day. Some housing societies rent playgrounds, and there is the good old lemon and spoon race, a cricket match, and the kids making the most of the wide-open spaces. Gandhi plays on the channels for the umpteenth time, we love seeing the videshi Ben Kingsley mouthing Hindi perfectly. On cable channels there is Border, loud jingoism, we still cry when the Indian soldiers die and win a battle despite being outnumbered. Late evening. The patriotic songs are still playing on All India Radio. News channels have left Republic Day for next year. Breaking news: Film actor elopes with mistress…

The next day - yesterday is forgotten. We are stuck in a traffic jam. We are going to be late again for office, the mobile phone is the boss. We shall relive Republic day again, on 15th August. Until then…

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