Skip to main content

Vande Mataram

August 15th seems different this year. Something is missing. I had purchased my mandatory flags yesterday. No paper flags in market, all plastic. Shiny, bright, and indestructible. I wondered if they were made out of the required 50 micron recyclable plastic. The snotty nosed urchin pushing it in my hands couldn’t tell me the price. In fact, he looked barely old enough to walk –forget about talking. I looked around for his older sibling, a street savvy youngster with a gleam in his eyes. He recognized a sucker. Instead of handing back the change for my ten bucks he handed me five flags. His cheeky grin disarmed me completely.

So today I have five flags fluttering in my balcony. In my white kurta – chudidaar, draped with saffron and green dupatta, which I wear only twice every year, I felt ready to greet the day. My bro remarked rather unkindly that they should forget the flag and hang ME instead.

I sipped coffee, still trying to figure out what is missing. Then it suddenly occurred to me. There was no blaring sound of patriotic songs in the air. The basti near our house took it upon themselves to keep every one’s spirits high. Usually I cursed them. Today I missed the cacophony of sounds.

Our maid arrived. I demanded to know why there were no songs, no festivities ? She told me that the person who used to play them had lost his cassette player in rain floods. It brought me back to earth. No wonder Aug 15 is different this year.
May be I am different too. More grown up, dragged into maturity, kicking and screaming, unlike that urchin who is selling flags at the age of three, who takes responsibility for granted.

I switched on the TV and watched the glass encased Prime minister for a while. Then I stepped out of the house, feeling a little lost. The slight drizzle had made the streets wet. There was a soggy flag hanging on the flagpole in the square near my house.

A group of children in school uniforms stopped me. As they surrounded me, I wondered if I knew them as looked for a familiar face. One of them pinned a flag on my dress and they all wished me Happy Independence Day in a loud and cheerful chorus. Their faces shiny, happy and bubbling with youthful energy. I felt my spirits lifting as I returned their greetings.
Nothing had changed. The spirit of the Independence Day was still alive


r r said…
hi niti!!!

i felt like i was there with you as i read it ...
philclinton1173 said…
i thought your blog was cool and i think you may like this cool Website. now just Click Here

Popular posts from this blog

A credit card for free.

“ This is for you ma’am, compliments of the store”. The attendant at the cash counter handed me a credit card. I pushed it away as if it was on fire.
“ No thanks. I don’t use them much. And I have one already.”
The attendant looked at me pityingly. I always have this horrid suspicion that attendant kids always pity me.
Next twenty minutes were spent explaining to me, how , with the shop’s own ‘Privileged customer’ card and the additional credit card I was going to save thousands of rupees, not to mention earn brownie points and win free gifts like diamond earrings, DVD players, and a free trip to Goa.
“ And ma’am, it’s free!” That clinched the matter. A free card can’t hurt me much, can it?

After reaching home I pushed the unwanted card at the back of my desk drawer, and forgot about it. One year was over. And I started receiving bills for the never used card. I questioned the shop, and reminded them that they had said – Free card, no service charges.
“ Only for one year ma’am! Now you w…

Kala Ghoda- Sonal Mansingh

I went to Kala Ghoda in severe conflict about what to see and what to do. This was one of the time when you feel like having a few clones and catch the whole show.But friend Ajita won, and we headed for Horniman Circle gardens to attend Sonal Mansingh’s Odissi performance.The evening was cool and breezy, the gardens were filling up fast. We could see the patron Goddesses of the event, Brinda Miller, Devika Bhojwani and Sarayu Doshi flitting around, getting show started.The ceremonial Lamp refused to stay lit. Finally the lamp was announced as “lit” behind the shelter of a file, and the show started. And what a show it was!I was all prepared to give a nod to Culture and then rush over to watch Soparkar’s Troup “Dancing in the streets “. But that was only till Sonal started her first piece, devoted to Goddess Maatangi, the patron goddess of all arts. From now on “Bhavani Dayani” will always look like Sonal.There was something of a sybil in her whole persona. Her goddess was not an eth…

Let's start at the very beginning...

My impressions of Dubai airport are blurred thanks to a fast moving airport cart with me sitting backwards. I am uncomfortable sitting facing backwards in any vehicle. One always likes to see where one is going. Sitting with our back to the driver is kind of heading into the unknown and we see things only in retrospect - if you get the meaning. I saw high ceiling, lights all over, arches galore ( I think ) people everywhere and a vastness of proportion which was not unpleasant. It was the " Topi Ud Gayi " kind of place that interests and overwhelms you at the same time.  If airports can be thought to be masculine or feminine, then Dubai airport struck me as a feminine airport, in soft colors, decked up and scintillating. What ever my other impressions, my most fixed memory will be the driver singing ' dani dani dani daaaani '! He was a handsome guy with a high energy even at 2.30. I wish he had sung the next line. Maybe the next time I visit Dubai...

The 17 hr fligh…