Friday, August 15, 2014

An Independence Day Treat!

This morning as we went for our usual walk, we found ourselves in the midst of Independence Day celebrations by the beach. The Beach Walkers' Association had organized a small function to mark the day. The flag had already been hoisted and a sizeable crowd had gathered around a person who was making a speech in Tamil. It felt great to be greeted by this sight early in the morning. The fluttering tricolour against the backdrop of the blue waters of the sea. The sun usually starts blazing the moment it rises in this part of the world. But today, it had relented and was quite mild. Energized by this pleasant encounter, we continued walking.

When we retraced our path, we found people standing in orderly queues, waiting to be served some food. As we walked past, an elderly gentleman invited us to join the queue. We wondered whether we should join as we are not members of the association. Sensing our hesitation, he repeated his request asking us to spare just a few minutes. Perhaps the association was treating all the morning walkers to breakfast. There was no reason to say no, and we happily stood in one of the queues. Quickly, we were handed a paper plate and a plastic spoon. As the queue moved forward, we came to the point where volunteers were serving Rava Kesari, Pongal, Chutney and Vada to everyone. We stepped aside and started enjoying the breakfast. It was hot, fresh and delicious. Of course, there was steaming filter coffee and we washed the food down with it. We then exchanged some pleasantries with the elderly gentleman and walked back home.

I regretted not bringing my camera or phone with me. So, we came home and went back to the beach again with the camera. Most people had left. I managed to take some pictures of the tricolour. The only sore point in an otherwise delightful morning? I wish people had folded their plates before throwing them in the bin thoughtfully provided by the organizers. The bin started overflowing and as a result, some plates lay on the side of the road. I hope our love for our country is accompanied by our desire and efforts to keep it clean. It is heartening to note that the government is going to take this issue up seriously. Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his Independence Day address, made a strong appeal to each and every Indian to take a pledge to keep India clean.

 On the way back, found this nice rangoli at the entrance of a house.  Very appropriate for the day!

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