August 15, 2007

Memories of I-Day

Until I lost interest in sweets (hereafter ‘Mittayi’), Independence Days were so much fun. I used to dream of a divine power taking incarnation just to distribute Mittayi to all kids of which I get the most. Independence days were actually my dream-come-true days. Look at this, everybody down the street distributes sweets of different types, of attractive colors and tastes that too for no reason. At least I didn’t know why they are being so generous “just for a day”. Being ignorant to the reason was ok with me, as long as they distributed the mittayi on time.

“Independence day season” always started with a trouble, in the first week of Aug. Every year, our class teacher used to ask us to prepare a flag/Country’s Map/list of freedom fighters etc. Ingredients for a flag used to be; green leaves (for green color), a white paper, BJP’s flag (for saffron), navy blue color pencil, cooked-rice-as gum to paste the paper to-, and a stick …But I must say, doing it every year was unexciting, even Pingali Venkayya would have found it boring. But the thoughts of the “mittayi day” ahead made me forget the boredom and compete for becoming the maker of the best flag so that I will get a special mittayi as prize.

The function in my school used to start only by 10 AM. By the time it started, we had to cover a large area consisting of NSS Office, BJP/Congress/CPM party offices, balavadi (nursery school), Co-operative Society, Madhavettan’s Tea Shop (Chaaya-Kkada), Jupiter Club, and Pallissery LP School. As I mentioned earlier, these mittayis used to be of different color, flavor and size. The most common of them was an Orange flavored, round one. It was very hard; I liked it very much just because it lasted for unusually long time, unless i crush it as soon as i “throw” it to my mouth. I never faced the problem of plenty; my unending love for mittayis was so irritating for all (sweet-Gods of Independence Day) that I always tried for a second round collection.

That day I normally don’t take lunch. Where is the hunger anyway when you have stomach full of mittayis! Even if I am hungry, I used to postpone it as much as possible. According to Amma Independence Day is only up to Lunch, after that I should go back to my study and prepare for next day’s class. How stupid, no freedom even on Independence Day! I used to think.

I used to miss most of Doordarsan’s live telecast of Prime Minister’s address to the nation in Red Fort. The only interesting thing in that speech happens when the PM finishes it, where he will speak out loud “Jai Hind” thrice which kids gathered around repeated after him. The rhyming was so good that, even now I wait to watch it in TV on Independence Day. Another vivid memory is of watching Independence Day special movies in TV. I remember to have seen “Roja” at least three years in a raw.

Things have changed a lot now. I did not think about making a flag, or attending the flag hoisting ceremony in the beach. I just browsed through TV channels covering the Independence day celebrations across the country, watched the movie “Chak De India” in line with the Independence Day mood, an amazing lunch and pleasant sleep in the after noon,

Just like any other holiday.

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