On the night of August 14th, 2023, I pondered over exploring various Independence Day events. I considered a photo walk on August 15th, if I wasn’t too lazy in the morning, to capture some photographs. I didn’t anticipate getting any exceptional shots for Independence Day, so staying home seemed like the plan.
Upon waking up on August 15th, I impulsively searched for the Red Road parade. At around 9:30 am, I checked its proximity to my home near Park Street. With no particular expectations, I decided to book a Rapido and set out. The Rapido driver dropped me off near Red Road. Though I didn’t anticipate capturing many photos, I held onto the hope of seizing a fleeting moment from a distance. Admittedly unprepared, and unfamiliar with the parade’s location, I continued my journey. Even though the blazing sun tempted me to turn back, I pressed on.
During my walk, a gentleman approached me, assuming I was a photographer, and we struck up a conversation. He even inquired if I was a press photographer. Politely, I explained my lack of a press pass, which led to the discovery that entry required a pass, even just for proximity to the venue. Taking it in stride, I thought that if I couldn’t get close, I would return home, acknowledging my lack of preparation. I would probably have gone to Park Street, enjoyed a milkshake, and headed home. However, after a while, the gentleman surprised me by offering a VIP pass he had obtained through a friend who happened to be an IAS officer. Thrilled by this unexpected opportunity, I was led to a designated area to sit and watch the parade. Our cameras were meticulously inspected for security purposes, delaying my chance to capture a helicopter showering petals as it passed overhead. Eventually, I found myself standing right in front of the viewing area, witnessing the parade firsthand, a dream come true since childhood.
I’m deeply appreciative of this kind individual named Mijan for making it possible. We’ve become friends and look forward to more photo excursions together.
We managed to capture numerous photos and experience the parade together. The presence of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at the Independence Day parade, hoisting the National Flag, added to the brilliance of the occasion. State officials, police personnel, students, and others also participated. As the sky darkened, I decided to head home, only to find myself caught in the rain and taking shelter beneath a sizable tree for over an hour. Fortunately, the tree shielded me from getting soaked. Once back home, I edited the photos, revealing unexpectedly satisfying results.
Later in the evening, I took a stroll to Park Street. While enjoying a pastry at Flurys, I spotted a balloon seller whom I recognized instantly. I recalled that my newfound friend and I had previously taken photographs of him. Stepping outside, I met him again, and he remembered me. He requested my WhatsApp number, and I shared the photos with him. Hearing his perspective on the day offered a fresh outlook. While we were all celebrating Independence Day, he was out working, selling balloons and spreading joy. Despite enduring a challenging day, battling heat, rain, falls, and waterlogged phones, he maintained a broad smile and exhibited sheer happiness upon seeing me again. We can now consider ourselves friends!
Happy Independence Day! 🇮🇳
Independence Day 2023: 76th or 77th? Additionally, there's a notable trending search on Google today. India gained freedom on August 15, 1947, and is poised to commemorate its 77th Independence Day in 2023 according to the PIB. Yet, considering that the first anniversary was marked a year after the actual year (1948), this year can also be seen as the 76th anniversary of Indian Independence. In essence, India will be celebrating its 77th Independence Day and its 76th Independence Day anniversary in 2023.