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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Republic Day and My Father

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To me Republic Day means going with my father and mother to Rajpath at 4 o'clock in the morning, year after year! This apart, also going for Beating the Retreat Ceremony on 29th January. And so the March Past, the salute, the tableau, the sound of bugles, all come to my mind vividly on this day. May be that's why I don't enjoy it so much on TV. I remember my brother coming for the Beating the Retreat Ceremony. Later, when he joined college he started participating in the NCC parade and went on to receive 'B' and 'C' certificates.  The fond memories will remain with me till the end I guess. Now a days I search for reasons as to why my father took us to see the parade. Could be because he had seen India getting Freedom in 1947 and then  becoming a Republic in 1950. Or may be that he wanted me and my brother to love the country in which we were born. I don't think my father will be able to throw much light on this. Several times in life we do things as directed by our sub-conscious mind.
I spoke to my 82 year old father today. He had a nasty fall last week at home and suffered stitches on his forehead. He has been advised by all to use stick while walking. But his voice was as enthusiastic as ever when he spoke to me on the phone. It is difficult for me, as a daughter, to believe that his B.P shot up because of which he just went blank. I have seen him in the worst moments staying calm and search for possible solutions while I much younger, panicked and brought the heavens down.
In the wake of this, I saw Republic Day in a different light today when I got up. As though it symbolized Positiveness and Optimism. To some extent, I am saddened by Kashmir's Lal Chowk issue. I wish the leadership there had seen it coming. It's like what happens in any home. When you don't solve a problem, others get a chance to interfere. May be, it would have been best to immediately extend formal invitation to BJP leaders so as to eliminate any kind of  trouble. That way, the unwanted guests would have been taken by surprise.