A fog permeated in my brain. Eyes half shut scanned my Timex. 6 am. Not my usual wake-up call, but instead of groaning bones and muttering complaints I only felt excited.
Today is Republic Day across India. Although Mother India gained independence from nasty Britain in 1947, it wasn’t until January 26, 1950 that a Constitution of India was cemented.
Kavita and I were invited to Savarsai, a nearby village built around a school that 9 of the Child Haven children attend. Since she sits on the board of the school, Republic Day made this an auspicious occasion.
Excited village kids
Like most days in India, I never know what to expect. Today’s events were no different.
I sprang up from bed determined to dress nicer than my usual Keen sandals and wrinkly t-shirt. Still, mornings are coolly crisp here and over an olive green dress and baggy jeans, I covered up in a toque and sweater.
Venturing outside I nearly collided with Sonali.
“Auntie, Republic Day!!”
She skipped by holding a thin red sash, a glow radiating from a very adult face. Sometimes I forget she’s only 10.
The kids were issued new school uniforms the night before and whorled around the matron demanding this and that.
“Didi, dress! Powder! Oil!”
A half hour later, they emerged with polished shoes, starched uniforms, and white powdered faces. Not to mention vibrating with national pride.
Girls decorate their hair with ribbons and garlands
Kavita came out in a sari dotted with delicate flowers; the intricate border weaved with scarlet and buttery gold threading. For a change, I was