Celebrating Independence Day in a charged atmosphere, darkened by jingoistic, snarling headlines of the Chinese media, was a strange, but thrilling, experience. Our consul-general, Prakash Gupta, is a popular diplomat who organised a mega yoga show, with ten thousand Chinese performing asanas in practised precision at Wu Xi. This he managed without spending a single paisa from the MEA and was rewarded by a favourable mention in Prime Minister Modi’s tweet for this organisational feat. On the morning of August 15, the national flag was unfurled, with a hundred plus Indians in tricoloured outfits, holding aloft flags, in attendance. Cries of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ rent the air amidst cheering. It was a memorable experience. So was the evening reception at the embassy, attended by Chinese luminaries (local government officials kept their distance) like Kung Fu Yoga movie director Stanley Tong.