As I sit in a faraway land and sip my Indian tea, I think about past Independence Days of my childhood.? They all dissolve in a blur of hoisting flags, collecting sweets and returning home early from school.
My parents’ generation must have actually seen the first Independence Day.? It was a day of great joy, I am told.? The streets were alive with people distributing sweets to strangers and crackers bursting everywhere.? In some parts of the country, it was also a time of great sadness as Partition claimed lives and separated families.
I-Day was never associated with such strong memories for me.? But there were other days that I felt a rush of nationalistic pride, of joy at having achieved something even if all I was doing was watching the news on television.
I searched through my memories for the earliest time in my life that I ever felt such an exhilaration. My first I-day like feeling, if you will.
It was the day that India had its first successful launch of SLV-3 carrying the satellite “Rohini”.?? That was the date (18th July 1980) that India joined the space traveling, satellite launching club of nations.
At that time, I was too young to understand why I could not see “Rohini” in the sky – I could see the Moon, which was also a satellite, right? But I was old enough to sense the achievement of being able to launch a satellite in the sky.
What is your earliest memory of a day when you felt such a gush of nationalistic pride?