As14th August draws closer my head spins itself into a tizzy on all that
– could be done
– should be done
– should NOT be done.
Instead of writing more about what shouldn’t be done I will share some facts about flags and just for kicks, let’s call it fun with flags!
I will also share some newer ways to celebrate this day.
The flag and paraphernalia vendors pop up at every nook and corner a week earlier and at spotting them I let out a shriek in excitement clutching my child. My startled husband gave me a half scared half judgmental look. If only his eyes could roll back into his head they would’ve!
14th August always gets me excited. I can never ever forget the entire “taam jhaam” (preparation) at Ammi (my maternal grandmother)’S place.
An age old (but gorgeous, possibly hand sewn) flag would emerge from the paitee (large metallic storage box) and checked if it needs to be dry cleaned. Lovingly steam ironed and carefully handed over to the adult in charge of the “set up”, they were reminded perhaps for the 75 millionth time to “be careful”.
Smaller jhandiyaan (buntings styled flags) were procured making sure they held within, no masquerade of sorts. No additional artwork. Quail e Azam, Allama Iqbal or brace yourself, Nawaz Sharif! Smiling on the flags were acceptable. No funky colours, or non funky colours were acceptable. Only the original flag with its authentic colours were a good to go.
These ones are so important since the flag has its own code of conduct. It has its own respect and rules that need to be adhered to.
1. The flag must never ever touch the ground. No matter what material or size it is. Care must be taken for it to never touch the ground.
2. It should always be hoisted at the highest tip of its mast. Any lower and it symbolises national mourning.
3. It should not be flipped on any axis. An upside down flag means the country is at war!
4. SO IMPORTANT and so often breached. The flag must only be hoisted early morning post dawn and be lowered with or before sunset. The flag must never see the dark. Even the buildings that have the flag hoisted on them throughout the year raise it after sunrise and lower it at sunset. So putting up the flag as soon as we touch August and not taking it off until much later in the month is a no go.
5. Care for the flag! Leaving it at the mercy of the elements will mean fading or tearing of the flag. For past many many years, it has often rained on the 14th of August. Even as a kid I remember putting it all up after so much effort and then just an hour later, running to take it off and carefully salvage every jhandii because hello rain!
Early morning stepping out onto the rooftop and start setting it all up was the most exciting part. We felt so important, half tripping on our own feet in sleep, eager to help the designated elder in the entire decoration feat.
How badass they looked when they’d burn the string on the jhandiyaan with their cigarette instead of cut it to size.
Making sure the flagpole is as straight as a breeder. The flag is well ironed and ready to be waved in the face of yet another Independence Day. Ah memories.
As we grow as a country, it’s a plausible idea to bring into light what our country needs In addition to the romanticism that is all traditional celebration of the Independence Day. Here are a few ideas.
1. Wave a Live flag.
Two friends in Karachi have joined hands to bring together their incredible following and tree hugging fraternities to run a Drive of planting trees on 14th August and caring for them through the year. Check it out.
2. Bleed Green
Jibran Nasir is running a blood drive by virtue of which there will be blood drives all over the place. This Independence Day maybe your blood will help someone live.
3. Zari Faisal’s Shashkay
If there’s anything desi it has to be this terminology. Shashkay is as Pakistani as it gets. So head on over to Zari Faisal’s website to source something to wear off of her limited edition greens.
4. Greenhouse effect!
Cushions. Fridge magnets. Buttons. Journals. Head on over to Ghazal Pirzada Creative Studios to grab some fo these amazing goodies just in time for the big day.
5. Drink green.
Do you know Matcha Tea helps prevent cancer? While at it, it also prevents Type 2 Diabetes, high cholesterol, heart diseases it also …wait for it… seriously aids weight loss. It is basically green tea powder treated with a lot of tender loving care and multifold in antioxidants because of its potent nature. It boosts metabolism by leaps and bounds and Chinese Daoists and. Japanese Zen Buddhists have had it for centuries to induce peace and calm. This 14th August become independent of that lethargic, exhaustion brought on my excess weight gain. Get premium quality, food grade Matcha delivered to your doorstep by ordering at Ánesi. Go check it out “.
Enjoy 14th August with truckloads of patriotic anthems. For a day at least, put aside differences and jaded political opinions and just dwell in the fact that we can throw around the proverb “It’s a Free Country!”