For the last two Independence days the only special thing I have done is, listen to a varied list of patriotic songs on my laptop. It evokes a range of emotions; like pride, sadness, regret, and nostalgia.
The list :
Ae Watan Ae Watan hamko teri kasam - Has a simple jingoistic feel to it.
Ae Mere Pyare Watan (Kabuliwala) - A nostalgic melodious song, having a Persian/Central Asian music style. doesn't matter that it is not about India, as it still evokes the universal love of the country.
Aye Mere Watan Ke Logo - Gives me goosebumps and tears every time I hear it. With great sadness the plight of the brave Jawans in the icy rocky terrain of the Himalayas comes to mind. Inadequately equipped, facing extreme physical hardship while battling against hopeless odds the relentless Chinese human wave after wave.
Kar chale hamein fida jaan o tan saathiyon, ab tumhare hawale vatan saathiyon - Reminds me of the school celebrations of Independence day
Vande Mataram - The original Vande Mataram from the movie Anand Math, in Sanskrit, has an ancient feeling to it. Brings to mind the black and white grainy pictures of the freedom fighters and their struggles.
Jahan daal daal pe - another of those special I-day songs in school.
Meri des ki dharti - Manoj Kumar, Mr Bharat, pumping it up for rural India.
Mein Zindagi Ka Saath Nibhata Chala Gaya - Not really patriotic, but the suave,carefree, Dev Anand in the jeep, is a perfect embodiment of an ideal Army officer of the 60s. Can imagine my father and father-in-law, both of whom were in the Army during that time.
Mile Sur Mera Tumhara - Bhimsen Joshi and the assorted multi-lingual singing cast makes this a gem of a song for national integration. No song can be more nostalgic than this; as during my childhood this used to be on TV almost daily. I had memorized the entire song with the 20 odd languages.
vandemataram rehman - The modern avatar of Vande Mataram, good music and well sung, but doesn't bring out the whole patriotic mood as the others
Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera (Swades) - Nice song, One of the few patriotic movies of recent years. One can identify more with this song after coming to the US and speaking to Indians who have been here for decades.