Independence Day

31 states.
1618 languages.
6400 castes.
6 religions.
6 ethnic groups.
29 major festivals.

It's India's 65th Independence Day today.
65 years since a 1947 August 15th, when the tricolor first went up. 65 years of freedom. Through hard patches and rockiness, we have stuck as a nation, despite all our differences. Today I went to the hospital regarding my asthma, and the girl sitting next to me was North Indian. She spoke a language I couldn't understand, wore her saffron-paste differently from the way we wear it, and her mother's sari was draped in an exact inversion of the way my mother usually does it. Despite all that, though, I could see her typing on her phone: a message about India,  about Independence Day, about the 15th of August that anyone who is proud to be an Indian will surely always remember as the day when India first became a nation of her own.
India, at least according to me, is not just a nation. 
It seems impossible that so many diverse cultures and diverse people could exist together under one flag, one tricolor, but that is my country, my subcontinent, my India. I live in the southernmost district of India, at the southernmost tip of it, but having traveled nearly the length and breadth of the country, I think I am right in saying that nowhere else in the world can you find some place so amazing, so vibrant, so diverse.
from Nathu La pass
I want to just give a small example: when I visited Nathu La pass, the pass that acts as a trade route between India and China-when I stood in the minus degree temperature freezing and touching the wall between India and China, I could see a snow-capped mountain with the words "Mera Bharat Mahan" or "My Country is Great" raised on the mountain surface with wooden stalks, and a tricolor at the summit.The soldiers there have to suffer through temperatures cold enough to freeze even gel toothpaste, but they do it out of patriotism, out of the fire in our veins when we see the flag, the Ashoka Chakra, the years and years of culture that goes all the way back to the Indus Valley Civilization at the beginning of history.  
Happy Independence Day to every proud Indian, every person born or living in what is surely the cradle of civilization, education and hospitality.
I am proud to be an Indian, proud to flaunt my Indian complexion and my Indian upbringing and my Indian culture. I am proud of everything that makes me Indian.
From 4 to
Maa Tujhe Salam.


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