Rising up from the nearby park as I write this are the sounds of the twice-a-year flag-hoisting function. I've been there several times with the family. This time I decided to stay away from the tired words about recalling the qurbani of past heroes, and how there's so much to do and … please, after more than 60 years, aren't there more imaginative ways of speaking of the significance of this day, and then necessarily ending with "Jai Hind, Jai Maharashtra"?
Rising up from the park are the sounds of today's function. I caught stray words and phrases: "kyon ham bhrastachar [something]" and "unke qurbani ki yaad [something else] and some more.
No more tired words. So we flipped open a laptop, typed a few letters into a browser and, with what appeared on the screen, had our own private commemoration of this day.
We watched the future of this country speak in an impossibly eloquent silence.
This is what appeared on the screen.
Spend a few minutes watching. It left us all in tears. But this was not sadness.
So on a country's 64th birthday, I wish for you and me:
* that we feel again the spirit in those kids' eyes.
* that we know again, like they do, why each word in that anthem is in there, from "Punjab" to "Ganga" to "tiranga".
* that we let those words stand for others that are not in there: take your pick.
* that we remember that freedom means you and me and the guy who might need help with his salute.
Let a million hands wave. Just like a waving flag.