Stories From A Yellow Room

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Republic Day Parade...Go watch it at India Gate...

Having lived for almost 21 years in Delhi, 26th January was always the extra holiday I got, the day I had the privilege of sleeping till 10:00 am…since post was the time I would get up to catch a glimpse of the Republic Day parade on National TV aka DD and then run out to witness the balloons which due to the proximity of my house to India gate circumvented the area, causing the entire neighbourhood to gather around and gawk at those gaseous tri-coloured balls . Spectacular…this was occasionally accompanied by Aloo Paranthas.
I took it this time on myself to go and watch the Republic Day parade along with a few friends. Bani’s dad being in the army provided us girls with the passes and the vehicle for the parade. Strict orders followed as we were told to be ready by 6 a.m, 4 hours before my regular 26th Jan wake up time. I was dam excited, sharing it with whoever I met, it seemed like a cool thing to do post R.D.B and yes at the end of it all it was quite a cool thing to do.
We left by 6.30 am, finding most of the C.P roads jammed we ventured forth on foot, accompanied by hoards of crowds all partaking in the national celebration. We managed to get seats… (thankfully), although our view was constantly obstructed by the rows of seats in front of us. We were welcomed by the most perfect dispersal of rose petals, showered over our heads by a helicopter…true Indian hospitality. The next one and a half hour we spent in viewing the fabulous display of India’s armed, naval and air strength…which revived in us a feeling of nationalism which over the years subsides. (A marvellous display of tankers, Agni missile, fighter jets). All of this was followed by fancy displays by school children from all over India…the sun and the landscape on a fine winter morning helped us relish the event all the more…
The tableau's then entered the scene, beautifully decorated, showcasing creativity and spirit of each of the 23 states. The ending was most memorable, as fighter jets vroomed over our heads leaving tri-coloured shades in the sky…they came back to showcase some more air antics, to which we all gasped.
Then the balloons were released and I do not exaggerate when I say that the whole sky I mean the whole of India gate and beyond was full of those balloons, some million balloons filled the sky blocking any view of the clear skies above. It’s a sight like no other and the most memorable end to a much sought after event.
Well, I would certainly recommend all Indians to go and witness the event as it takes place in front of your eyes. You will come home not only with a visual delight but also a sense of heightened nationalism

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