Sujatha is a freelance writer who brings alive with words simple joys of life, that you might have experienced but not noticed.
India keeps marching forward and yesterday the entire nation, celebrated, hoisted the Tiranga, contemplated our progress and many wistfully thought back on memories, of how we sent foreign rule back to their places.
My husband called his Periappa (His Uncle, My father in law’s elder brother). He is 85 years old and has been living in Independent India for the past 75 years. He is from a generation that relishes so many finer aspects of life that we and our children would not be even aware of.
Slowly his memory wheels turned and he recalls the day etched in history -August 15th, 1947.
The historic day
During the time we showed the Brits the door, he was 10 years old. He along with his nine siblings ( My late father-in-law being the youngest, a wonderful personality by himself, who served in the civilian side of the Airforce) were living in a small town called Kadayam, which is in the south of Tamil Nadu. He was at an age that revolves around playing with friends than shouldering the country’s freedom struggle. Yet, the sense of freedom and elation rippled into every corner of India and he recalls that without comprehending the depth of the actual reason, he and his friends were thrilled.
The news that the sun was indeed setting on British rule had percolated at all levels of society a few days back. Spirits were high and so much happiness.
For us who thrive on bits and bytes to pass information, have all the possible technology and yet fail to properly communicate with each other, I stand amazed at how strong communication must have many decades back, to bring together scores of Indians, in ending foreign rule.
As these iconic words “ Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.” were being uttered at the stroke of Midnight, he remembers that all houses which could afford a gramophone were playing the famous song by DK Patammal –
“ Aaduvomae pallupaaduvomae
Aanandha suthanthiram adainthu vittomendru”
This means let's dance and sing that we have attained freedom. It is not easy to describe the emotional connection that this song has with their generation.
As a young man
Through the little boys’s eyes
Honestly, we can try to imagine that day but it would be difficult for us, who take this freedom for granted to get the complete picture and emotions.
The next day the sun dawned on free India and celebrations spilled out into the streets. In a sense a blessing for those who experienced the precious day. My husband’s Uncle ventured outside and was given single chocolate from those distributing it.
He remembers the joy in getting it because obviously at that time, it was a rarity. But what was and is still very sweet to hear is that this 10-year-old boy took that single chocolate home. Instead of just gobbling it up himself, which is a very natural thing for a child to do, he divided it equally among all those at home, his siblings and parents. ( and Remember, it’s a huge family !)
Just imagine !! Small chocolate and they had it after sharing it among themselves. And the best part is that he still claims that he has never tasted any chocolate as good as that !!!
His memories are centered around getting chocolate on the day, this dear country got freedom and he recalled it with so much relish that I had to pen it down.
Freedom is sweet but for him, nothing can get sweeter than that teeny weeny bit of chocolate!!
Let us cherish our Freedom. Jai Hind!
© 2022 Sujatha