Sometimes one is moved beyond reason and identifies with what one is seeing..and feels so happy to be part of the cultural milieu....this was true of both these events.
The Thyagaraja Aradhana takes place at Thiruvaiyyaru, on the banks of the Kaveri river, which, nowadays, is just a trickle in which one can wet one's ankles with difficulty. Many musicians gather and they all render the Five Gems, or the five great compositions of the saint-composer, who sought to spread Bhakti through his compositions and attained his beloved Rama through his music. Alas, there is a lot of politics involved, especially since the festival became a media event. But I think only of the music and there is still a sanctity to the whole event.
Watching the Republic Day Parade, too, is something I don't like to miss. When we lived in Chennai, I would take my daughter and go to the road behind the Lighthouse where there was not a big crowd and the parade would form. Now I watch the floats on TV in Delhi. It fill me with a sense of pride in my country and her greatness, as I watch the different States being represented. Today, I saw only a few States (Karnataka among them, with a model of the Mysore Palace and the statue of Mahishasur, beautifully done) in the Parade. Surely all the States should vie with one another to put up floats?
The other irony, which suddenly occurred to me after all these years of watching the parade, was the fact that in the dances, floats and displays, harmony and co-existences are highlighted...but the military display is one of might and threat and incipient violence. The announcer talked of the guns having so many non-stop rounds...those rounds are used to kill other humans....I think, perhaps, nationalism should become obsolete, and one should become a citizen of this world and think of oneself as being part of a single country that this blue planet should become,with true gobalization...