02 August, 2021

Freedom On A String

Isn’t it better to paint the sky with kites than to watch marchpasts and listen to boring speeches?

Freedom On A String

There is almost nothing about rituals of statehood that appeals to me. The speeches leave me cold, and patriotic anthems happen to be the most ponderous form of music ever performed or composed. As for the pomp and circumstance of parades and other solemn but pathetic attempts at grandeur—they only repeat their lessons in how distant the apparatus of the state actually is from the lives of citizens.

Typically, my attention, when flags are raised up poles, is less on the flag and more on the sweat on the brow of the man doing most of the actual hoisting. Because flags, like nations, get stuck in their destinies, and sometimes have to be tugged at vigorously to open and flap about; or let loose their meagre shower of yesterday’s desiccated petals. The palpable anxiety of the hoister (who is worried about what might get written into his confidential report if the string snaps, or the flag stays tied up) and the thinly masked frustration on the visage of the attendant dignitary who wants it all done with as quickly as possible are...

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