When August 15th began

2016

Indian Border Security Force (BSF) celebrate Independence Day

This is written in 3rd person. I’m aware it’s a blog but sometimes looking from a different pair of eyes gives a fresher perspective, and also brings something new to the material.

 

The Rio Olympics women’s gymnastics final was drawing to a close. Everyone had their eyes glued to the television screen as they waited in tense anticipation about the final standings of the gymnasts. Moreover, representing India for the first time was Dipa Karmakar, and she was herself equal to any Gold Medal they have ever seen. Being the first from this third-world country, amidst all the hardships and trials of perseverance and commitment, she had risen to be qualified for the greatest level in her sports career ever. Tonight the world witnessed the clash between 8 finalists, and Dipa was one of them.

The clock struck midnight. Anyone hardly noticed except the young girl watching from the corner with a smartphone in her hand, continuously chatting with her friends about the final round. One of her friends quipped up: It’s 15th August. Happy Independence Day people. Love you all.

Surely, she had already forgotten. This out-of-the-blue reminder made her tell everyone how the day was significant both because of the girl who had made them proud, and the freedom fighters who had been dying for more than a 100 years to preserve the integrity and security of the country. 70 years had passed since India saw emancipation from the British Raj, but today, she only managed to say, summing this all up: “Happy 15th August, everyone!”.

They heard her, muttered something similar, and turned their concentration back on the screen. Dipa Karmakar had been declared 4th in the standings. Not bad for a first-timer in the Olympics. After all, she had missed bronze only by a whisker, but managed to win the hearts of her supporters back home.

No one had noticed the sound of the fireworks outside which began to go off the minute the clock had struck twelve. The mother turned the TV off, turned on the AC and prepared to make the bed. The young girl, her brother, their father, didn’t make one sound. They were quite prepared to retire for the day.

“Stop the ringing on your phone,” the mother warned the girl, “We can’t sleep.” And so she did.

“Thank God it’s Monday tomorrow,” the father said before closing his eyes.

Not once did they think what this day meant, what the army patrolling at the borders have to do to keep the nation intact. Don’t the soldiers deserve a medal for making India proud and safe? But that thought hardly crossed their minds. Tomorrow was a holiday after all, what more did they need for a good night’s rest?

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