I have the fondest of memories of Independence Day celebrations back in high school.
Every single year our school would organize this cultural program that consisted of some dance performances and a couple of skits interspersed with some patriotic songs belted out by the school's prayer group.And no points for guessing who was an integral part of almost all the performances on the list.Yes people,apparently I was super-talented as a kid!But as I grew older,the talent went into hiding somewhere,never to be seen again.Sigh!So yes,the cultural program.It just so happened that due to some strange coincidence,the teacher in charge of the dance that I was a part of would invariably want us to buy an elaborate(read expensive) costume and jewelery to go with it.And my mother would invariably go ballistic when she found out what the dress cost, at the store.The first year emotional blackmail worked and the year after, a temper tantrum did the trick and she caved in.But after that,she wisened up and just wouldn't budge no matter what I did or said.Luckily,it was the same case with several of my friends and so we ended up doing what any self-respecting teenager would loathe to do.Borrow!
The best part of it all was that we would be called for practice during class hours!So we got to miss class officially and we would run past the infuriated Physics teacher going "yaaaaaaay dance practice",much to the chagrin of those who were not participating in the dance and had to stay back in class!The practice sessions were so much fun especially if it was a boy-girl dance.Most of the boys were awkward dancers and they had not,an inkling of grace.So it was fun just watching them attempting to dance because we knew that with the exception of a handful of them, the rest of the lot were just trying to impress us!D-day itself was an affair to remember.....all the performers in their colorful costumes ,the younger kids running around , laughing and screaming,the teachers dressed in the tricolor,the parents with their cameras flashing away!We then sang and danced and pranced around and performed to glory.And all the fun and games came to a befitting end when the prayer group sang the National Anthem and our National Flag was hoisted and everyone present stood there in attention and solidarity and with pride.
I am glad that this celebration and fun is what I associate with Independence Day.I am glad that my patriotism and love for my country are perennial and I do not associate or limit these sentiments with or to a particular date.I am glad that I do not have to resort to gimmicks to express my sentiments.
Happy Independence Day and a very happy anniversary to my ajji and thatha!