Long live the Republic !!
Today was the Indian Republic Day. A government holiday in India which is celebrated with much pomp, armed forces parade in front of the President, speeches by prominent politicians, air shows, etc., etc., not to mention the flag hoisting ceremonies everywhere from schools, to universities to office buildings.. It has been a while since I was actually present in India for a Republic day (1993 was my last !!).
Today being a typical middle of the week day in the US of A, I didnt get to even soak in the fact that it was Republic Day. Just like other Indian festivals or holidays, I have to celebrate Republic Day on the nearest weekend !! Not that we are used to celebrating it in a big way here, unless there are some special programs in the local India community centers or on the local Indian TV channels (and we all know how well correlated the movies are with respect to the occasion on the Tamizh channels) !!
But seriously, Republic day always brings back memories. Lots of them and mostly good ones. My brother and me used to sit in front of the television the entire day sometimes skipping food just to watch the parade which goes on for a few hours. The parade has bands from every state, army, navy, airforce, guards from different states, school kids, all kinds of missiles sitting on trucks, tanks, an air show with superfast planes (like the blue angels show we see here in the US), a motorcycle show by daredevils, etc. etc.. The whole event, shown mainly on the only TV channel those days which was the Doordarshan, did bring a sense of awe and pride at being Indian. So much that we used to have our own flag hoisting game at home with the flag being hoisted on a little bamboo pole which grandma used for putting up wet clothes on the line to dry !!
Today, I came home to watch the evening news and there was no highlights of all these events. Not only did I miss that parade, but also felt a void in terms of my identity and how far removed I have become from what was once me !! Tomorrow, I go to celebrate the Chinese new year at my daughters daycare. We even had to hunt around for a chinese traditional dress for her to wear for the party. She is already singing a few chinese songs every evening, practising for her performance !! What a world we live in !!!