He was more than a tad bit nervous, and feeling rusty on top of that. He’d not left home in months, and now, they expected him to perform in front of a live audience. “My day in the sun should come more frequently, I deserve at least this much respect,” he thought to himself, but somehow knew that these were just idle musings.
He was old now, but still young in a lot of ways. He looked pale and jaded from outside, but he knew that he had just started, his best was yet to come, if only they could find a way to discover his true potential. If they clipped his wings, and kept him imprisoned, how on earth did they expect him to soar high in the sky?
He still remembered his days of struggle, when he’d gone head-on against the mightiest foe in the world, and come out on top. He’d become a symbol of hope and pride for an entire generation then, maybe the current lot needed to be reminded of that.
But his reverie was suddenly interrupted by his guards, who had come to take him out, on to the stage, where he was expected to perform in front of a live audience….and the nervousness returned.
He was drooping with fatigue when they took him out and tied him to the pole, doing the same show year after year does take its toll.
He heard them first, and his ears perked up. They were chanting that old song again, thousands and thousands of them, and his back straightened when he heard their enthusiastic voices.
And then he looked up, and saw a sight that brought tears to his eyes. The crowd no longer consisted only of the oldies of his generation, for along with the grandfathers and grandmothers had come their grandsons and granddaughters, and they were all singing with joy on their faces and hope in their hearts. He could not possibly let them down.
And as the crowd reached the last verse of Jana Gana Mana, they were surprised to see a wondrous sight- The air was absolutely still, there was no sign of a breeze at all, but the flag was standing erect with pride, fluttering in rhythm with their words. The intensity of their voices increased then, and their chests swelled with pride.
But only a small child, with one tiny hand holding a flag, and the other in his grandmother’s gnarled hand, noticed what no one else in the crowd was able to see- The flag was smiling, for it knew that things were going to be all right again, the sacrifices of his countrymen would not be in vain!