OPINION

The Flag Flies High

August 15, 2006
Sujatha Bagal

I headed out of the house at 7:25 am and made my way to where the flag hoisting would take place. As I neared the main street leading up the mast strains of Vande Mataram filled the air. More people joined the crowd of people moving toward the mast, little girls in silk skirts, boys in pyjama kurtas, men in Jeans, shorts and the women in chudidhars, sarees, having tried their best to incorporate white green and saffron in their dresses.

People stood around chatting, kids ran off to find their friends and generally run around excitedly. Two women with dogs straining at the leash stood at the fringes. A man placed a handful of flower petals in a folded tricolor and tried to get it up the flag pole.

A huge shamiana sheltered a stage and about a hundred plastic chairs. The sound system screeched as it came on and someone asked everyone to move towards the flag pole. Everyone - there were about one hundred and fifty people - gathered around in a loose semi-circle.

The head of the association untied the rope from the flag pole and slowly pulled it. The bunched up flag made its way up to the top, hesitated for a brief second and fluttered in the breeze.

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Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Sujatha Bagal is a writer currently based in the US. She recently returned following three years as an expat in Bangalore, her hometown. For a glimpse into the life of an expat, visit Blogpourri.
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The Flag Flies High

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Author: Sujatha Bagal

 

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#1
Mayank Austen Soofi
URL
August 15, 2006
03:30 AM

Yeah its Pandrah Agast today. It is also Midnight Child Salim Sinai's birthday when the 'clock hands joined palms in respectful greetings'. It's India's independence day.

I am vexed by so many issues faced by this country but let me confess: inspite of our dismal contribution to real secularism, inspite of our electricity-less nights and jammed highways, inspite of our lazy machinery and corrupt officers, inspite of the sad state of our farmers and women, there are still so many pleasant things that somehow outweigh the negatives.

India is truly a fabulous nation. No where on earth, be it USA or European Union, do people of so many tongues, so many recipes, so many clothes, so many gods, live together inspite of our so many challenges.

I know I am an Indian by accident of birth; and I also realise that every nation has its greatness; and i also know that each culture is good in its own way and ethos;and yet I must declare that I'm thankful that I was born an Indian. I can not imagine myself without my Indianess. Greetings to you Sujatha, and to evrybody else, too.

#2
Raj
August 15, 2006
04:28 AM

Mayank - not all people live together in India. There are many who live in mini-Pakistans spread all over India. There you find green colored flags fluttering.

#3
LighterVein
URL
August 15, 2006
05:04 AM

Simple post yet reminds hoe the heart skips a beat when the tricolor opens and flutters in the wind. A very happy Independence day!

#4
shoefiend
URL
August 15, 2006
08:59 AM

:) I I got a little misty eyed when I saw the pictures. Happy Independence Day

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