Making the Most of Independence Day, From Home

For Indians all over the world, August 15th evokes feelings of pride, joy and patriotism. From schools to offices, this day often involves dressing up in traditional attire in the national flag’s colours. And recalling memories from your childhood, of attending flag hoisting celebrations may leave you feeling nostalgic.

This year, however, as India completes 73 years of independence, celebrations are likely to be more low-key given the current pandemic. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun! Here are some ways to make this Independence Day a special one and #DiscoverMore about India’s road to independence.

Put on Patriotic Films

There is, perhaps, no better way to celebrate Independence Day than through India’s love of cinema. The best part is that there are plenty of films that offer a glimpse of India’s extraordinary freedom struggle. If you are a film buff, make the most of the weekend by indulging in a patriotic movie marathon. Here are some options you can consider:

  • The Legend of Bhagat Singh (2002) – When you think of freedom fighters, Bhagat Singh is one of the first few to come in your mind. From his childhood when he witnesses the Jallianwala Bagh massacre until the day of his death, the life of this prominent freedom fighter is powerfully portrayed by Ajay Devgn in this biopic directed by Rajkumar Santoshi.
  • Lagaan (2001) – Ashutosh Gowariker’s debut movie is an appetizing sports drama featuring naïve village folk who take on the mighty British in their favourite sport of Cricket. Based on a fictional premise, the movie stars Mr. Dependable Aamir Khan and presents a telling account of how life in villages of India would have been in the British era.
  • Gandhi (1982): This detailed and engrossing biopic explores a man’s journey to virtue, righteousness and his transition to become the modern-world apostle of non-violence. Critically acclaimed actor Ben Kingsley portrays Gandhi to perfection and gives you a peek into the man behind the Father of our Nation. It has to be on your must watch list if you haven’t already.
  • Bhaag Milkha Bhaag (2013) – It is a biopic of the Indian Olympic running legend Milkha Singh, featuring Farhan Akhtar and directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra. Parts of the film throws light on the 1947 partition in the wake of the independence movement and the India-Pakistani relations.

When the pandemic is behind us, you can get in your Ford and plan a visit to those iconic landmarks those stood witness to India’s long and tedious battle for Independence.

Take up an Enlightening Book

If you want something to last you longer than three-hours and prefer getting lost in a good read, several books can offer information and enlightenment when it comes to India’s fascinating history.

  • An Era of Darkness: The British Empire in India by Shashi Tharoor – If you want to read about the impact of British colonialism on India’s national resources and economy, this book is ideal. Tharoor’s impeccable research and wit make this quite the page-turner.
  • India Wins Freedom by Abul Kalam Azad: This is an excellent read if you want an insider account on India’s freedom struggle. It is written by the then senior leader of the Indian National Congress and one of India’s most famous independence activists – Abul Kalam Azad. The book tells the story of India’s partition with intimate feelings and knowledge.
  • India’s Struggle for Independence by Bipan Chandra: This is your go-to book for an in-depth overview of the independence movement. The narrative documents the independence struggle of the entire country and not just one region and even captures the impact of the movement of the people.

Turn up Some Patriotic Music

Another way to get into the spirit of independence day is to put on the right music. You can even set the mood as you drive around in your Ford EcoSport. Here are some suggestions for your Independence Day playlist:

  • Rang De Basanti – Rang De Basanti
  • Yeh Desh Hai Veer Jawaano Ka – Naya Daur
  • Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani – Phir Bhi Dil Hai Hindustani
  • Jai Ho – Slumdog Millionaire
  • Aye Watan Watan Mere Abaad Rahe Tu –Raazi
  • Suno Gaur Se Duniya Walo – Dus
  • Mere Desh ki Dharti – Upkar

If you prefer less commercial music, there are plenty of those as well. Some are:

  • Sare Jahan Se Acha
  • Ekla Chalo Re
  • Vande Matram
  • Ek Naya Sansar Basalen

Make Tri-Colour Themed Food

No celebration is complete without food. While you may have previously headed to a restaurant for some traditional food or a lavish Independence Day buffet, this year things will be different. Whip up some delicacies at home give them a unique touch with these ideas:

  • Tri-coloured Sandwiches – One of the simplest and tastiest dishes to make is the three-layered sandwiches – the top layer with tomato sauce or a red chutney, the middle layer with butter and the bottom layer with green chutney.
  • Pasta in Three Sauces – Add a twist to your pasta by preparing one part in Margherita sauce, another part in cheese/ white sauce and the third in pesto sauce. Arrange the three as per the Indian flag colours when serving.
  • Fruit Salad – You can also make a tricolour fruit salad with papaya, kiwi and peeled apples. Swap the apples for bananas, if you prefer those instead.

Make a Difference

Let’s be honest; the current situation in the country isn’t the best. On account of the pandemic and economic slowdown, many people are facing challenging times. So, if you want to take your patriotic act a step further and so something more meaningful, there are things you can do.

You can start by educating yourself on the issues that some of our countrymen face and support any cause that helps the less fortunate. You can even volunteer your time and contribute towards making the country a free, safe and happy for everyone.

Independence Day doesn’t have to be about extravagant affairs or grand patriotic gestures. Instead, it’s about drawing inspiration from a time when the entire country came together for a single cause – freedom. And today, how you choose to make use of your voice and liberty is entirely up to you. So, here’s wishing you a happy Independence Day from Ford!