This piece is in honour of Independence Day, August 15th as well as my dad's tenth death anniversary, 7th August, and the thoughts were pretty much awakened by blogeswari.blogspot.com's sharing of patriotism.
I was in the eleventh standard (or so) and very very enthu about most things. I considered myself quite a patriot. Loved the Indian national anthem (and still do) and find it difficult most times these days, to finish it without them lumps in the throat! My Dad had always insisted on being as much of an Indian as possible and he taught me to sing the national anthem always standing up and erect...even whilst practising.
So, I am in class -- twas just a regular, routine class and some kids were rehearsing the Independance Day programme outside class and we could hear most of it. When they came to practising the national anthem, I suddenly realised that I was lounging around so i quietly got up and stood, not caring about the rest of the class's giggles. It took a few moments for the teacher to realise that one of her students was not seated. She look astonished and asked 'What are you doing?' (I was a favourite although lousy at her subject) I said 'National Anthem, miss'.
'It's Ok, sit down' and no matter how many 'buts' I stammered out, she waved me off.
I came home and told my Dad what happened. He was most disappointed in the teacher. "No wonder our country's going to the dogs' he said.
Even today, I am wondering which attitude is right.
But I still stand up whenever I even hear it.
'Jai Hind!' I say...always!