It was my mother's eighty-first birthday yesterday. I'd got her new housecoats from the tailor just a couple of days ago, so she wore the prettiest one for her birthday. My youngest son, the still-teenager-with-awesomely-tempting-to-muss-up curly hair, was around for the long weekend.
It was a lovely hug he gave his Nani, she tiny and looking even more petite next to the skinny beanpole, who often times resembles an upside down mop.
Her surprise present was a CD player, which both she and my father liked. She has her own phone this year, bought just before I'd gone to Chennai last month, so she had the pleasure of receiving birthday calls on her own, personal phone. (One of those Walky things. Mobile phones are far too small for her to handle with ease).
My father seems more frail than ever before. He's decided that he is sick of all the incredibly boring food he's been having over the past several months, so now I ask him what he'd like to eat for each meal, and he's being a bit adventurous. As long as he is able to digest what he eats, it is fine! Anyway, he enjoyed the kheer I'd made for Janamashtmi, and the kaju katli I made to celebrate my mother's birthday. I'd made it after years, and had a misadventure or two with it before getting it right, and it was appreciated by the family, and the friends who visited us in the afternoon.
We (the SRE, the son, and I) went out for dinner and a movie. On the way, heard this incredibly moving patriotic song playing on the radio,
'Hum laaye hain toofan se kishti nikaal ke,
Is desh ko rakhna merey bacchon sambhaal key".
My Independence Day image for the year is of a little boy, perhaps four years old, playing with a bunch of three balloons, saffron , white and green, tossing them around happily near the buffet, not bothered about the risk of them floating near the hot dishes, simply enjoying himself with the sheer exuberance and joy of childhood.
Our sixty two year old nation still needs that exuberance and joy, and we need to take a lot of care that the balloons of our hard won freedom remain afloat, not destroyed by the myriad elements out to destroy it.
Happy Independence Day 2009