Well! This change in topic is partly because I want to break the monotony in the previous few posts. Better put, Republic day was the perfect alibi for me to change topic.
I started loving the Republic day right from my childhood, not mainly because of patriotism (Not that I’m not patriotic).
One reason was that it was a holiday.
Second and the main reason was that there was this republic day parade telecast live on TV. It was indeed a treat to see the soldiers marching to the tunes of the bands and tanks, missiles, helicopters and fighter planes zooming past.
The entire parade takes place in the main vista of the India Gate in New Delhi. India Gate was constructed to commemorate the Indian Soldiers who died in 1st World War and the Afghan Wars. The names of the soldiers who died in these wars are inscribed on the walls.
I always feel a surge of energy going through my nerves when I see this. I wanted to be a soldier. I had this desire in one corner of my mind, but never got the determination to be one.
First thing, I am not that healthy and muscular. They would chuck me out of the NDA the moment I enter.
Secondly, of course, my mother was absolutely against the concept of me being a soldier. “You are a brahmin”, she’d say, “You don’t have enough nerves to be a kshatriya (warrior)”.
Pondering on that, I doubt whether it were those vehicles of destruction which enthralled me. No. It was a different feeling. A feeling of pride on being born in my motherland. This Republic day was just a splinter which would rekindle the fire back to its grandeur.
Reminds me of the sanskrit adage
Janani Janmabhumischa Swargatapi Gariyasi
which means “Mother and Motherland are greater than heaven”
Love you mom…
Love you India….