Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Republic day!

It's Republic Day today. Seems like just another Holiday! I didn’t even bother to go for the flag hoisting which happened in my apartment premises - feeling bad about it. However, when the National anthem started playing on TV I left all the work I was doing and stood there in front of the TV and started singing along! Felt so good! There is something in that anthem - Something which makes me happy, or may be proud?  Or maybe just so patriotic!
Well, this is not the way I used to celebrate this day always! During school it was mandatory to join the flag hoisting ceremony, and I never felt lazy to do that :) It was in Dec 1997 when my PT (Physical Trainer) Teacher at school randomly came to me and said "Sakina, would you go for Republic Day Parade?" and I replied "Miss, why now? Republic Day is in January only". She didn’t bother to answer and enrolled me for it.
For the next 1 month I was instructed to be at the Traffic Police headquarters (near Dasprakash, Chennai) at 5:30 am for a 1 hour March-Past Training. Initially, I was like, what have I got myself into? I should just back off! But my parents felt I should go ahead with this and my dad religiously dropped me at the headquarters every morning! As the days went by, the practice sessions became less painful and more fun. I had couple of friends from my school and met many more from other schools too.
As the big day neared, we started having rehearsals at the Marina Beach! The first day they took us there, they made us March from the Light house to Madras University (which is 2-3 KMs in distance). Our hands ached and our legs felt numb. The daily practice would hardly cover 500 meters of distance and this rehearsal really killed us! We had 2 more rehearsals to go before Jan 26th and in the 3rd rehearsal we were experts! We felt the distance to be shorter and the marching didn’t pain at all!
On Jan 26th, the beach was beautifully decorated; the Dias was setup near Gandhi Statue (It is not held there anymore I guess). That day we were at the venue by 4:30 am and kept waiting for the Chief Minister to arrive for the Parade to start. It was 10:30 when we finally saw signs of the Minister and we finished our parade by 12 in the afternoon. I was marching in the row facing the audience and when we turned to salute at the VIP's on the Dias I felt PROUD! Really PROUD! This was my best Republic Day Celebration I have ever had and I ever would have!
See, I told you, I have stories for everything! Btw, Happy Republic day to all in India and abroad!
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