Nagpur: The chill in the air notwithstanding, they wore broad smiles on their faces. Excitement and exasperation as well. As the traffic slows down at major squares across the Second Capital City of Nagpur, a kid comes hopping by with his sunshine smile and brandished a wad of tri-colour replicas. The kid urged the vehicle owners to buy the National Flag for waving on Republic Day. However, success was in patches. Some commuters cold-shouldered the boy while some readily purchased the tri-colour for their proud possession. The scenario dots the squares, the busy markets, and numerous vantage points as the R-Day draws closer and closer and patriotic passion peaks. “Jai Ho” is the buzzword.
The National Flag in miniature forms, are being displayed by hundreds of kids, of course for sale at a cost. Republic Day means a lot to the street kids who make their living by deals in the tri-colours and earn some bucks foe their tiny happiness. But disappointment is part of the trade. The flag-bearing kids are not always a welcome as many motorists roll up their windows and two-wheelers race accelerator without a glance at the tiny hands. However, Good Samaritans, in majority, cheer them by buying the Tri-Colour for roaming and waving on the prized holiday the R-Day bestows on them.
A commuter said that call it patriotism or whatever, on Republic Day he just senses joy in buying as many flags as he can. The buying spree shines the “dirty” faces of kids with satisfaction of taking home some bucks for daily chores and for some good cause as well. The moment of excitement, for both, the buyer and the seller!
The dealing in miniature National Flags, in fact, begins a week before the R-Day or Independence Day. For some kids the week is very good and for some it is Ok. The brisk pace of possessing and parting of the Tri-Colour peaks as the patriotic day draws closer.
The atmosphere goes vibrant and colourful with the echoes of patriotic slogans. “Bharat Mata Ki Jai.” “Jai Ho.” And other chants of the likes reverberate the air.
“Happy and nationalistic moments are here.” “Jai Ho.”
Photos by Vinay Nimgade