Jashn-i-Azadi preparations are a happy sight
As 14th of August approaches, I am reminded of the numerous Independence Days of yesteryear. Growing up, for me this day was just another excuse to dress up in new clothes and go out for lunch with my parents, marvelling at my city beautifully decorated in flags and lights.
Since the start of 2020, such moments of joy and happiness have been few and far between. Hence, I was pleasantly surprised to see the Jashn-i-Azadi preparations in full swing throughout the city; from vendors selling outrageously large flags to lights and posters decorating the city. All these celebrations in honour of Pakistan’s Independence Day take me back to my childhood, and warm my heart by reminding me what a great feeling it is to call Pakistan my home.
Such is the scale and extent of these celebrations that one need only step out of one’s house to witness them. Colourful lights hang at every major road and square throughout the city, transforming the already majestic town into a sight to behold. These lights, coupled with the posters and decorations that have been set up at numerous places across the city, add further glamour to Lahore.
The sights one is graced with upon travelling the streets of Lahore are a marvel. The streets are filled to an almost breaking point with roadside stalls selling a wide array of badges, stickers, flags, toys and so much more. After all, one can hardly celebrate their freedom and independence without being decked out from head to toe in their national colours.
Seeing the vendors at every street corner, large flags fluttering over their stalls, a large crowd buying their wares etc is something that hasn’t changed and will be a much-needed part of our celebrations.
Speaking of dressing in one’s national colours, who can forget the Independence Day sales that spread like wildfire across all clothing stores, giving people a unique opportunity to celebrate this day by looking their best.
It is even better when one can celebrate the day while contributing to the progress of our country. This was undoubtedly the aim of the Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) which recently held a flag march for the promotion of tree plantation in Pakistan. More than 20 water tankers, each sporting the Pakistani flag, travelled across the city not only to create awareness among the general public but also to create enthusiasm among the populace to make their country a greener place.
Further, the PHA has made arrangements for plants to be dished out to people for free at the Liberty Roundabout.
The highlight of the celebrations, of course, is the event scheduled to take place on the morning of August 14. Several cycling clubs in the city are expected to band together for a ‘mass ride’ starting at Liberty Roundabout and culminating at the Quaid-i-Azam Library with a recitation of our National Anthem. This should be a great demonstration of unity.
All these celebrations remind us that we are truly blessed to have our own homeland, and so we must allow us a chance to not just appreciate this fact but also remember those whose sacrifices made this possible for us to be able to roam the streets freely.
The writer is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at NUST, Islamabad. He can be reached at [email protected]