(The guy is telling to his friend: I see ’60’ all over the town)
The fantastic sunrise woke me up to a wonderful morning. I could not wait to read the special editions* of all my favourite newspapers at home. After scanning a few pages, I went to the nearby newspaper shop and bought a copy of some other newspapers. On my way home, bought a packet of milk and excitedly sat in the balcony to read the special articles. I had just finished reading the article by Manmohan Singh and Amartya Sen in The Hindu when my son woke up. After the morning duties, my wife dressed him up and fed him breakfast. He is used to seeing me with a couple of newspapers everyday. But today he saw me flooded with papers all over. I showed him a few pictures of our national flag. And that was when I got the idea of taking him to my school (KV Malleswaram) to show him some real flags and children celebrating Independence Day.
On the way, I showed him a few autos which had tied the flag to one side and had loud music playing inside. But he was concentrating more on the stray dog which was waiting to cross the street!
Entering the school, we saw an ocean of kids holding plastic flags while the hoisted one kept flying high. (I got vivid memories of the time when I was studying in this school and the many Independence Days that I took part in.) My son was really happy to see a boy playing drums on the stage for the song ‘Vishwa Vinuthana Vidya Chethana’. We saw a couple of other cultural programmes and went to the front portion of the school where we saw a fountain and an aquarium. My son loved those colourful fishes.
From there, we went to a park that my son visits every evening. The main reason why he loves going to the park, although there are swings, see-saws and slides, is because there is a cow shed opposite the park. And next to it, a railway track. On some days, he not only gets to see the cows, but also a train. Yesterday was one such day.
While he was playing in the park, there was an Indira Gandhi speech that was being played by a patriot Indian. She said: “Nearly half of India’s people have been born free and have no personal memory of the colonial days. We are engaged in building the nation, in giving political freedom its full economic and social content….”
More than my son, I was really having a wonderful time playing in the park. He kept humming a few songs and rhymes while playing. In between he asked me to sing his favourite songs. The sun kept beating down and I asked him if he wanted to play or go home. He told ‘Manege’ (home). As we left the park, I saw an old lady carrying a heavy load of vegetables on her head. And Indira’s words continued to be heard (and faded away): “We women have for years played a prominent role in the freedom struggle, in politics and in public life. We have women engineers, women governors, women ambassadors, women judges, women diplomats and administrators….”
And I heard the old lady shout, “Tarkari, Soppu”…
* Will take me a few days to finish reading yesterday’s newspapers.
RwB celebrates India at 60: