Saturday, August 16, 2008

HAND-MADE IN INDIA

As school-children our Independence Days had a comforting, ritualistic sameness. We would tear out a page from a note-book (preferably white, but, at a crunch, even red-and-blue lined ones sufficed). Then we would draw the tri-banded Indian flag and colour it orange-white (no need to colour)-and-green (after much debate, I chose light green and my brother, dark green). In the middle of the white band would be the blue wheel (oblong rather than circular, and with decidedly worse-for-wear spokes).
This hand-decorated-with-much-concentration-and-tongues-out paper would be attached with gum (also often home-made, by mixing flour and hot water) to a thin stick. Even this thin stick was home-crafted, being the middle vein of a coconut leaf from one of the many such brooms made in our house from the coconut-palms in our garden.
This flag would then be hoisted, with much singing and clapping, at one corner of our chhad (roof). 100% Made in India. 100% celebrated by us. 100% satisfaction guaranteed and gained.

HOW DID YOU CELEBRATE INDEPENDENCE DAY WHEN YOU WERE YOUNG?

10 comments:

HOBO said...

When I was kid I used to celebrate by buying flag, balloons and fixing it on my bicycle handle & carrier and then with my cousin brother roam around the city and visit friends.
Those were the days...
jaane kaha gaye woh din...
:.(

Niladri said...

We used to have this Independance Day event in school with the customary flag-hoisting...and the corridors used to be decorated with flags of different shapes and sizes made by kids from different classrooms....followed by some vigorous and energetic singing of patriotic songs standing under the hot August sun. This was rewarded by food-packets full of sweets and savouries and we all went home happy with our own flags pasted on broomsticks!!

Mina Jade said...

A lovely idea, and the children must have enjoyed it much :-)

Paul Bernard said...

No such celebrations to be had in England. It's sort-of frowned upon to celebrate Englishness, associated as it is with thuggishness and right-wing nationalism.
I remember there was a street party when Charles and Diana were married. I was very ill with a childhood disease (measles, perhaps) and couldn't attend. From my darkened bedroom I could hear all the other children having fun outside.

ugich konitari said...

What great memories! We also had some small paper flags that we used to wear pinned to our clothes the whole day. Another thing I remember, is saluting the traffic cops at junctions, when we passed them on our way home. They saluted us back. Always.

One memory stays as if fresh. We had a program where we had a little girl from our class,in a nine yard sari dressed with a crown, and depicting Bharatmata, and a bunch of students stood around and sang . Maybe her sari was bothering her or something. Her facial expressions went through a multitude of expressions , and as soon as the item was over, she was seen desperately scratching her back. Still brings a smile when I think of those days. Thank you for bringing up the topic...

Lazyani said...

My memory is of school celebrations.

By the way, do you delve in clairvoyance? Thanks for the wake up call

lopamudra said...

I remember how mother took upon herself to gather the 'pada' boys & girls,arrange for candies,a bamboo pole was erected in the nearby empty plot,tiny flags were glued(home made glue)on the ropes made of jute and hanged on the connecting electric poles ,the tricolor was hoisted amidst rendition of our national anthem by the children in varying time length.The honor of hoisting the flag went to the people we need the most yet thanked the least.One year our 'pada' sweeper did the honors and another year our 'pada's favorite rickshawpuller.Those were the days!

sukku said...

Not as colorful as yours I guess...

sarah said...

Thanks for stopping by my site. It sounds like you fit a lot into a day too!

Our independence day rarely went by without some type of fireworks, either doing ourself or going to a display which was prettier but not necessarily more fun.

Take care,

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Great memories aren't they? Esp with Olympics and patriotic fervour and all that. Thanks again, for sharing your flag-memories.