Today is probably one of the best days of my life.. I attended the Rupublic Day parade here at delhi with Anurag.. we’d gone to Red Fort for a visit once and a ticket stall was placed right at the entrance of the monument.. we went over and bought a couple of tickets for ourselves..
We got up at six thirty in the morning after a short night’s sleep as a result of the birthday party of one of my roommates Vivek.. we took an auto and he dropped us at the Pragati Maidan.. from there we walked for over an hour for an estimated distance of around 3 km before we reached the national museum area where the passage between the barricades served as the entrance for the public.. just when we’d made it to the area and were enquiring about the directions from one of the policemen the guards at the entrance announced that the entry was closed that the time was up.. we rushed ahead and joined the huge crowd which was trying to enter through the gate.. the guards let go off for just over 5-10 seconds and we made it thru the barricades.. anurag was in fact the last one to crossover before the rope was brought down to stop the public from entering any further.. Phew Lucky!!!
we then went further and into the frisking area where each and every individual was frisked for any kind of electronic gadgets, knives or any pointed tool and any kind of suspicious object whatsoever… we cleared thru the frisking after a real fight thru the crowd and then moved ahead to claim over seats in the gallery which were unfortunately on the ground and not on one of those elevated steps… the flag was hoisted just in about ten minutes of our arrival and we stood up for the National Anthem.. it was played with the salute of 21 cannon shots.. and man those cannon shots were being fired somewhere down the lane beyond the India Gate and the reverberations were felt like huge blows.. the grouund literally shook with every cannon shot… it gave us a glimpse of how fearsome the battle grounds are with such huge missiles and bombs being detonated and people suffering huge losses of life and property.. it was a special start to the whole event..
we then took our seats and in a few min the President Shmt Pratibha Patil came in a limousine in a cavalcade led by a contingent riding on horseback.. wearing red uniforms with the turbans it was a sight indeed… the president waved to the crowd from inside the limo we responded with claps and waves…
and the dignitaries soon followed.. the Chief Guest was the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan.. the dignitaries tok their seats and the parade took off…
One by one the marhing contingents started marching towards the India Gate from the Rashtrapati Bhavan.. each of them looking so smart individually and beautiful as a contingent with uniforms made of bright colors and turbans of various designs.. each one walking with their heads held high and with a pride unseen.. the first one ot walk down the road were a contingent of jawans who were doing a slow run(a slow jog infact) holding rifles and shouting slogans.. and it gave me goospimples all the way…
the contingents kept coming, each with a completely different set of colors of the uniform and some with the uniforms of a completely different style… each marching contingent was followed by a marching band which played a patriotic song with full armoury of instruments, right from the large trumpet to the bugle,the kettle drums, the band everything.. the leader of each band was a person walking with the spear or so you may call it… he would march with the spear in one hand and had a style of his own with the hand having the spear bent instead of being straight.. and every 16 stpes or so he’d hold the spear upright right in front of him and throw it up in the air for a sommersalt.. and he’d catch the spear and keep on marching and the marching speed never varied.. the throwing and catching of the spear was just so perfectly timed, rehearsed and perfected that it was done with immense ease one that is indeed difficult for any of us to replicate.. to my luck most of the contingents’ marching head did the throwing of the spear just around the time they were passing from in front of us..
the grandeur of the beats, marches and the uniforms brought tears to my eyes.. it was overwhelming to ealise how eaily we complain about the country and shun it to no extent.. and while doing this never ever realise how great our country is, that we too have a rich history infact the richest in the world, and that while there are a lot of things for us to criticise about, there are also many things we need to be proud of..
the march past continued and then there was a contingent on the horse back.. with the hoses walking and all the soldiers rested on the horses straight as a pole.. the band also sat on the horses and played the tunes.. then came the contingent on camels.. that was a sight to be seen.. the camels were decorated so beautifully.. with the typical rajhasthani decorative art containing those small pieces of mirrors and the knots made of cloth.. it was amazing… the descipline, the pride and the honour that they carried on thier shoulders and eyes could be seen clearly..
i was telling anurag as to how great the families of each of these soldies must be feeling to seen their son,brother, husbands and faathers in the parade.. and just then a girl stood up looking out for a particular contingent.. and when they came marching in front of us the girl was ecstatic waving wildly at one of the soldiers while her father was desperately trying to pull her down and asking her to sit, she kept on waving.. it made my eyes moist… i was reminded of my dream to be in the defense.. a part of the army..
the parade then ended and the ashok chakras were awarded posthumously to the soldiers who laid their lives fighting terrorists at jammu kashmir, delhi adn mumbai… tears almost rolled outo f my eyes in awe of their valor and glory that they’d attained… reminding me onc eagain of how much it was my desire and dream to serve the nation thru the Indian Army.. i never can stop cursing myself for nnot giving the NDA exams sincerely… for it was my dream even then but then the turn of events at that time made things go a li’l off the track and i wasn;t giving my 100% to the entrance exams.. i felt a great urge to someday have my name their in that list.. and to recieve a medal of honor for saving lives of people and serving the country… i can only say one thing… i definintely am gonna take a rebirth and get into the army next time.. its a wish not fulfilled and that’ll reaming with me till death… i was chiking there when the names were being calling trying my best to hold back my tears from rolling onto the cheeks.. it was an overwhelming oment.. it might surprise a lot of u to read all this that i’m writing.. i;ve nnot been very expressive in the past far as my dreams are concerned but it is true i wanted to serve in the defence very much… anyway past is past…
moving on.. the defence forces’ arsenal was put on display with the brahmos, akash, agni missiles being brought out in huge carriers.. it was then followed by the naval command coming in in a replica of a ship with a helicopter built on it and the naval chief standing on it..
then came the Indian Air Force with a replca of a plane with 2 air force officers standing on it in full uniform and the typical shades… man they were looking stunningly smart… i tell u.. tom cruise in top gun would’ve looked ugly in front of them… no exaggerations completely…
frankly, the defense people are the smartest guys on earth come what may… 🙂
the march past came to an end.. the depictions of the states started to come… each stte with its speciality.. but then not many came up this time… only about ten states were depicted contrary to the large number of states that are generally shown..
then the cultural show was organised which had 2 groups from different schools performing a group folk dance.. and then ccame the motorcycle guys… in all kinds of formations… the crowd went into a roa of claps and applause… it was indeed beautifule too see the formations.. imagine 31 guys on 4 mobikes in a huge formation all the bikes running at the same speed… awesome stunts…
then came the air show with the jet planes flying past in supersonic speeds… and displaying all sorts of manuevers… the roar of the engines were defeaning.. the jets came from the direction of the rashtrapati bhavan and towards the india gate… with this huge smoke trailing the jets…. it was fantastic the way they manuevered… thenthere was this air-to-air refuelling aircraft which connected to 2 small aircraafts with a thin pipe hardly visible from thhe ground which was for fuelling the 2 planes in the air..
once the fuelling wa sover the 2 planes disconnected the pipe like thing and flew straight up… was awesome the whole display of expertise..
the air show was over and the chief commanding officer of the army gave a salute to the president after which the national anthem was played and all of us stood up for that..
the balloons soon went up in the air with a sring of flags attatched to them.. a huge number of them from 4 different places were released and it was a beautiful sight to see… simply amazed at the beauti, the arrangements the grandeur of the whole show.. i was still getting goosepimples… the show finally came to an end with the president’s and the other dignitaries’ cars going back to their respective offices/houses.. and e moved out of the gallery and into the road….
while we were walking towards the main road to get an auto we saw an NSG commando standing with an AK-47 just then a family walked past him and a small kid stopped and went back to him and saluted to the commando ad shook hands with him.. it was probably the besst and the sweetest oment of the morning.. it felt great to see the child do that.. what innocence and wat an understanding the child has at that tender age of about 3-4yrs.. it understand by seeing the uniform and the gun that the person is an army man who pretects us all from the terrorists and helps us live a good life and that he aint a terrorist or a negative man to be afraid of…. it is this understanding that we people lose with time unfortunately…
and stop respecting the defense forces and thinking of them the way they would when children..
it is here that i request all you guys who’re reading this to please sit and think of the difficulties the army men and their families face with a gun in their hands and ready to face death any moment in their lives not caring about anyone but the innocent people trapped or in danger.. it is this selflessness that we must learn from them and try and implement in our daily life in order to make the world a better place to live in… …..