Incredible India | The Community Building Movement

Fond Memories of Independence Day Celebrations

And a note about the Nobel Laureate who wrote India’s National Anthem

Rajasekar D, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

I am excited to recall how, during our school years, we would be so enthusiastic about the grand celebrations we could look forward to on the eve of Independence Day every year.

14 August would be a frenzy of activity. Practice sessions in school. Stern instructions from our teachers to be our very “best” the following day. We would be busy getting costumes ready for the cultural programs we participated in; we would scramble around to get our flag-themed wristbands, our pinnable Indian flag, and our school uniforms pressed neatly so as to present ourselves smartly on this very special day.

On 15 August, we would be up early and set off to school. A sense of pride would fill us as we entered the school gates, to see the colorful decorations, rangolis, and the general excitement in the air.

Students in charge would run around to ensure that everything was going according to plan. The guard of honor would be in place to receive the special Chief Guest of the day.

One of the fun parts of the celebration would be the primary school children (the 6–8 year age group) dressed as famous personalities and freedom fighters. (see photo on top)

After a fun-filled exciting day, we would return home with boxes of sweets, to settle down in front of the TV to watch the Independence Day program being celebrated in Delhi. The tableaus representing each state of India are such a glorious sight!

There would be a special lunch at home to celebrate the national holiday as a family with everyone at home. The elderly would talk about their own experiences with the Freedom Movement.

During the years my mom was a school teacher, she would be busy organizing things and getting her speech ready. I loved to hear her speak. The inspiring words just seemed to flow when she got on stage. I’ll never forget her recitation of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru, our first Prime Minister’s speech, Tryst with Destiny. An inspiring speech!

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed attending the Independence Day celebrations at my son’s school. One of the most emotional moments of every school festival is the singing of our national anthem, written by the great Rabindranath Tagore (1861–1941) Indian poet, philosopher, and Nobel laureate.

India’s National Anthem “Jana Gana Mana” has many renditions by different artists and they are all just as breathtaking as the original.

Here it is, sung by the great classical vocalists of India

A brief note about Rabindranath Tagore

Born in Calcutta into a wealthy family, he wrote poetry as a child, publishing his first book at the age of 17. He was in England briefly, in 1878 to study law. Later he returned to India and was recognized as the most important and popular author of the colonial era. He wrote poetry, short stories, novels, and plays, besides composing hundreds of songs.

In 1901, Tagore established Shantiniketan, which followed the ancient “Gurukula” system of education, where students lived and studied at their Guru’s house.

In 1929, he began to paint. Though he basically wrote in Bengali, he later translated his own works into English. He became a Nobel laureate in Literature in 1913 and in 1915, was conferred a Knighthood by British king George V. In 1919, Tagore renounced his knighthood after the Amritsar massacre of 400 Indian demonstrators by the British.

His most famous works are: ‘Balaka’, ‘Sonar Tari’, ‘Chitali’, and ‘Gitanjali’. His selected poems ‘Sanchaita’, and selected short stories ‘Galpagucha’ were published in India in 1966.

Hugo Erfurth, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

I’d like to quote one of my favorite verses about freedom by him. Though published in English in 1910, this poem is eternally relevant. My mother was a great fan of his writings and I fondly remember a large photograph of Tagore which she cherished for decades and then donated lovingly to the school she developed.

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

Happy Independence Day to all Indians!

Catch yourself when your mind starts with limiting beliefs or any other negative thoughts that work against you. Let the negative thoughts rise to the surface and evaporate by reminding yourself that what you want is going to happen.

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles ❤ Did you smile today?

Help me support underprivileged children via Ko-Fi. Thank you so much!
Subscribe to my daily motivational tip posts on Substack

Join us at The Community Building Movement as a writer today! ❤ Our goal is to build a strong sense of community every day! Here are the guidelines by Gerald Sturgill

I recommend:

Sam W. describes her enchanting version of her happy place and wants to know all about yours.

Eko BP wrote a lovely drabble about words.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

Vidya Sury, Collecting Smiles

2.4K Followers

Writing about Self Improvement, Mindfulness, Meditation, Parenting, Health, Travel, Life, Books. Showing my diabetes who’s boss. Visit: https://vidyasury.com