15th August 1947, through the eyes of my mother!

It was the first Independence Day that I can remember. I was just seven years old. It was a different day. I got up and went to my school early. The headmaster hoisted the flag. We sang national anthem and we got chocolates from our teachers. It was just a candy but we used to call it chocolate. I was happy and ran back towards home. I entered my home shouting “ma ma” (Mother, mother). She was not in the verandah where I usually found her after coming back from the school. I went to the kitchen. There she was sitting alone – with tears in her eyes! I was surprised. It’s a happy day. Everybody is celebrating, but why was she so unhappy. I asked, “ki hoyechhe ma?” (What happened, mother?). She said, “ kichhu na baba” (Nothing, my son). I knew she was lying. A mother can hide her feelings from a grown up child but not from her seven year old son. But I decided not to bother her at that time.

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