Prop malfunction of my 8 yr old self!
Independence Day in India is a big deal, not just for me, but for all Indians. Also, let's not forget about 61 other countries that escaped British rule. But hey, I'm not here to give you a history lesson. I'm here to chat about how we celebrate this day. You see, achieving freedom after 200 years of being ruled by the British wasn't a walk in the park. It came with a lot of blood, sweat, and tears from our brave freedom fighters.
Growing up, I began to realize how everyone worked together to gain this precious freedom. We heard stories about freedom movements, protests, and the sacrifices people made. But let's be honest, when we were kids, Independence Day felt more like a fun day. I remember decorating our house with tiny Indian flags. At school, there were programs where the principal raised the flag. Oh boy, our principal had a habit of giving long speeches under the blazing sun until someone fainted. I thought about pretending to faint but didn't have the courage.
Now, let’s rewind to my earlier school days. I didn’t participate in many events, but the ones I did are still etched in my memory. In 3rd grade, our dance teacher, Samantha mam (who was quite fat and didn’t dance much herself), choreographed a routine for us. One year, we had to practice for Independence Day and were asked to bring big Indian flags on sticks. Samantha mam was tough and sometimes scolded us or gave us ear-holding punishments. Sadly, no store near my house had the big flag I needed. And wouldn’t you know it, there was a power outage in the neighborhood. My mom couldn’t find a flag, and my dad wasn’t too eager neither to spend money , nor to travel far to buy a flag just for a school event. My little 8year old little head was worried about getting in trouble the next day in dance class. But my awesome Grandpa saved the day. Early the next morning, he got not one, but two big flags for me even before I woke up. I was thrilled!
The practices went well. And finally, the big day arrived : August 15, 2008. I have an astounding memory you know . But hey, just kidding ,it’s Independence Day after all! I reached the event location with my mom early in the morning. The stage was set up which was covered with a thin temporary shed over it.The teachers gave speeches whereas students from other classes kept on performing dance and songs one after another.Our class waited for hours for our turn. Our dance teacher couldn’t make it, so our class teacher took charge. When we were called, we confidently hit the stage.
Halfway through the performance, disaster struck.Maybe my good luck decided to bid me a good bye and blew away with the breeze, which out of all the children of my class knocked down only my flag. All I had was the stick in my hand. But guess what? I didn’t freeze. I kept dancing confidently with just the stick. Somehow, I pulled it off! Then the rain crashed our performance, soaking us on stage. We finished our performance and came down. I was still trying to process the flag fiasco. Some kids teased me, but our class teacher praised me for not giving up. That boosted my confidence.
Now, here's the funny part. All the parents started protesting against the school for arranging the stage of poor quality which couldn't even cover up their children from splashes of rain, especially since the school charged a good amount of tuition fees.
Our expensive school set up a flimsy stage, and the rain turned the Independence Day celebration into a protest! Not exactly what anyone planned. My experience that day wasn't perfect, but it sure was unforgettable.