A few days ago, I received an official invitation from the Indian Embassy for attending the flag hoisting ceremony to mark the 67th Independence Day via email. Head of Chancery DV Singh called me yesterday for the function at the embassy.
The flag hoisting ceremony was scheduled to be at 8.00 AM. We reached the embassy just before 8.00 AM. A few other Indians of Baghdad were present including Prashant Rao of AFP and VV Rao of Lanco Infratech. Some local Iraqis were also present. They were from Baghdad Chamber of Commerce and of course, a few local employees of the embassy were also present.
Ambassador Suresh Reddy unfurled the Indian flag and the Indian national anthem was sung. It was followed by customary reading of the address of the President of India to the nation on the eve of the Independence Day by the Ambassador.
After the reading of the address of the President of India, an Iraqi boy talked about India-Iraq relationship. It was a good speech by the young boy.
The embassy arranged for some South Indian snacks – Idli, Sambhar, Medhu Vada, Upma, Chutney besides Puri, Sabzi and Halwa. We chatted for some time with the Ambassador Reddy, Mr. Singh and Mr. Kaushik over the snacks and tea that followed. As it’s a normal working day in the Bank so we left early for joining duty.
While we were having snacks, there were two huge sounds of explosions followed by another after some time. This is the sad part of Baghdad life. Explosions are happening almost like a routine. There were around 10 car bomb explosions in the city today.
I wish Happy Independence Day to all Indians. Vande Mataram! Jai Hind!