Sitting atop an Electricity Board tableau that had the permission to drive through the generally restricted The Ridge and The Mall in Shimla, my 4-5 years old self back in the eighties understood nothing about republic or the need to celebrate it.
A small procession that began from the old Telegraph building up to the Christ Church and the perk of a good refreshment was enough to get me excited about it.
That year the theme was how electricity had changed lives in remote areas and the moment the bulb hanging on my head was to be lit , I had to give excited expressions sitting there with a book.
All the "artists" were chosen from the residential complex of the board for ease of access.
Cause and effect are such a strange phenomenon, what we think is the cause might be the effect of something previous to it.
For decades I had completely forgotten about this but now as I struggle to pinpoint the meaningfulness of a republic or its celebration, the memories are back.
My father's family paid a huge price of freedom in 1947 and lived for years with the label "refugees" from across the border. Home was always a very fluid concept for them.
I spent a large part of my life in the hills and in some parts of my state democracy or republic has still not changed quality of life services much.
The city I live in now, the glorious capital is struggling to find clean water and fresh air. The disparity between the "haves" and the "have nots" we overlook everyday because we are all helpless in its face.
" Things are changing" is such a lame argument because I feel my 7 years old girl is still as unsafe as my grandmother was in 1947.
Yes I am the sceptic, I am alright with being labelled "naysayer" for asking the cause and effect questions, for asking what use is a latest radar to me if I don't have clean air.
To me glorifying the soldier without his human rights is pseudo, to me the façade of a republic where all voices are not equal is a sham.
I was reading Emil Cioran earlier and I so relate to - I feel completely detached from any country, any group. I am a metaphysically displaced person.
PS: I will do a follow up post for all the trolls labelling me "traitor" after this, if need be.