Dhruv Walia, Vinayak Bharadwaj, Aakriti Agrawal and Ananya Kukreja study in schools across the Capital and its suburbs. Ahead of the 65th anniversary of independence, these GenY kids look up to their grandparents as witnesses of India's freedom struggle and the day our country celebrated it's first big day. HT Next I-Day special
The manner in which Krishan Dutt Walia, a resident of the Munirka DDA flats, playfully teaches Dhruv, his five-year-old grandson, the right way to salute or to recite the opening lines of the national anthem amply reflects the warmth of their bond. When Dhruv, who studies in the preparatory section of Bloom Public School, Vasant Kunj, innocently asked his grandfather about the latter's memories of school, Walia, 71, narrated how he had learnt the national anthem as part of Independence Day celebrations at his alma mater during the late 1940s.
Similarly, when Vinayak Bharadwaj, a Class 9 student at DPS, RK Puram, seemed curious to learn more about what happened on August 15, 1947. His grandmother, Rajesh Bharadwaj, a resident of Gurgaon, proudly recollected her childhood memories, "In Patna, the celebrations were just like those during Diwali," the 72-year-old said, adding: "My mom wore her wedding sari, while my father, who was a doctor in the railways, wore a khadi dhoti-kurta."
For Aakriti Agrawal, a Class 10 student at Mount Carmel, Anand Niketan, her 69-year-old grandmother, Usha Agrawal, is a living link to the era of the freedom struggle. No wonder then that the teenager was a picture of attention when the latter described her experiences during August 1947.
In Usha's words, "I was studying in MB Girls' Senior Secondary School, Gole Market, and to celebrate Independence Day, we experienced an upsurge of patriotic feeling when the tricolour was hoisted at the school for the first time, followed by the national anthem. Just five months later, however, our joy turned into gloom with the passing away of Gandhiji."
In a similar vein, Promod Batra, a 75-year-old resident of Nizamuddin West, narrated to his granddaughter Ananya Kukreja, a Class 6 student at Modern School, Barakhamba Road, about his emigrating experiences from Lahore to Delhi. Batra recalled the highly-charged communal atmosphere that was filled with fear and hatred.
He, however, added that although he and his near ones struggled to survive those turbulent years, the adversities actually laid the foundation for a bright future.
During the late 40s, I learnt the national anthem as part of Independence Day celebrations at my alma mater Krishan dutt walia, grandfather of Dhruv Walia
On August 15, 1947, we experienced an upsurge of patriotic feeling when the tricolour was hoisted for the first time at our school in Gole Market Usha Agrawal, grandmother of Aakriti Agrawal
My mother wore her wedding sari and my father put on his khadi dhoti-kurta to celebrate the big day Rajesh Bharadwaj, grandmother of Vinayak Bharadwaj.
We moved from Lahore to Delhi in a highly-charged communal atmosphere that was filled with fear and hatred. However, those adversities actually laid the foundation for a bright future Promod Batra, grandfather of Ananya Kukreja.
HT Next I-Day special