That’s right – the one day annually, where we gave up our national holiday to don our ‘house’ t-shirts, and stomp around our school’s ground to impress a VIP Chief Guest. Ah, the memories are bittersweet. If you have ever been a part of the Independence Day March-past, here are some things we all relate to.

If you are, or ever were a student at school, and your school celebrated Independence Day with a grand function, chances are you have participated in the dreaded march past.

1. You never ended up with your best friend. 

It is funny how school authorities always knew which kids were best friends, because they were never put in the same house. That also meant you and your best friend are now in different contingents, and you’re stuck with randos from other classes. Now who will help you pass time?

2. Long, sweaty practices.

Practice for march-past started at the end of July, to get us prepped in time for D-day in August. That means, you were stuck from 7:30 am to 9 am, on humid, sultry July mornings stomping around in the sun. What was the point of bathing before coming to school, if you needed at least 2 more showers after that? 


3.  You had to sacrifice your zero period for this. 

Not. My. Beloved. ZERO PERIOD. But of course, how will the teachers understand? While some of your classmates chilled inside cool classrooms, playing games, sleeping and wasting time in general – you.. decided to take part in the march-past. What was wrong with you?


4. If you were holding office in school, there was no escaping. 

If you were part of your student council, there’s no way you’d get out alive. From managing rowdy juniors as house captain, to having your own contingent if you were at an office post, your presence was mandatory. Not gonna lie though, wearing those cool sashes and being the flag-bearer was another level of clout. 


6. If you were that kid who didn’t know his left from right, bade bhaiyas came to your rescue with this life hack. 

Every contingent has to have that one student, who struggles with his ‘baaye‘ and ‘daaye‘. Your biggest fear was turning right, when you had to turn left. Lucky for all of us, contingent leaders came to our rescue with this incredible life hack that most us still use to this date. Here’s ‘b for baaye‘ and ‘d for daaye‘. 

7. Just a tiny bit of regret looking at other students dancing or singing or doing normal patriotic things.

As the day of the function edges closer, bigger practices meant you got to see the dances, songs and other performances that students had prepared. And they looked so cool (as in thanda), un-sun-burnt, and fun as compared to you. The whole parade felt a tinge of regret for choosing to march past on a sunny day. 


8. All those veteran march-pasters were stuck teaching the noobs the ropes. 

Seniors were always stuck with the impossible task of teaching juniors, to alternate their arms and legs while marching, not look like penguins. Teaching them to turn on their heels was way more difficult than teaching someone to moonwalk. But, if you were the little brat being taught, you hated these bhaiyas and didis for telling you your knees needed to reach your waist. Just how??? 


9. On Independence Day, nothing has mattered more than making your house win. 

Despite weeks of goofing off, bearing the heat and the insults of your seniors, on the day of the I-day function, winning the House Cup is the end goal. From synchronising to everyone around you, turning your heels like a dancer, and the now-quite useless command of ‘daaye dekh’  to stare down the Chief Guest, you felt like you were marching into the battlefield yourself to fight for your motherland (read: your house). 


10. 16th August, the honourary chhutti declared by the Principal was the sweet gift for all our efforts.

If we sacrificed our national holiday for our school, the Principal blessed us with a chhutti. The last speech of the day had to end with the Principal announcing that the next day was a holiday and that was enough consolation for our weeks of marching around.


11. The day after the chhutti after Independence Day gave us a weird sense of dissociation. 

Soon after all the festivities finished, the school returned to normalcy, along with a vague sense of disorientation. What do we do now? We have no 0 period?? We can’t use practice to get out of class??? We have to return to studies???? How to function???!!!