Republic Day!

Sharing some memories, of my school friends…


Remembering chabbij-janwari (that was how we dilli folks referred to our Republic Day)….

Cold Delhi mornings… Foggy mornings… Me and my elder bro, taking my father’s Pass and Car-Park token, hiring a taxi and landing up India Gate…. Watching the parades… Watching President Zakir Hussein arriving by horse carriage… Watching him taking salute – standing for hours…Without break…Standing and returning the salute of the nation.

Watching with pride all the marchers…The absolute synchronization of boots and arms…The marchers responding to their leaders command “Daahine Dekh! Eyes Right!”, as they walked up to the President…Watching all the tableaux, esp the one from Tamil Nadu…The bands, horses, weapons, tanks… What an experience!

And finally watching the magnificent flypast…. Migs…Were there balloons as well????


My classmate Thiru writes:

I used to enjoy watching the Tableaux artists practising at National Stadium few days before the event. Do they still have Full dress rehearsal, as they used to call it, on the 24th…and the grand finale on the 28th, the Beating the Retreat, ending with a walk down to the illuminated South/North Blocks and Rastrapathi Bhavan…. my favourite. I still remember the rows of Camels with Buglers on top edge of North & South Block. The retreat tune of Sareh Jehan se acha…lazhawab.

Happy Republic Day folks.


My classmate Jayanthi writes:

Reminded of the early morning drive to India Gate with my parents. Amma used to cover me with 2 sweaters and one long coat scarf and what not.Those Green galleries , barricades and large striped Red and Blue Dharies for squatters.We used to carry old newspapers to be spread on damp gallery stands. Remember friends it always used to rain the previous night and we shivered watching the parades of Jawans and performance of children. With majestic commentary of Melville-de-Mellow/Maharani Pamella Singh /Sukh Dev Singh in Hindi ripping the early morning calm atmosphere.(If my memory is right) Amma used to ready lunch for us to have on return . She used to carry idli with mulagappodi applied on it and hand over the individual packets to me and Appa and Appa’s share invariably used to be the biggest.(Hmmmmm partial of Amma probably she underestimated my capacity.) I am telling her that while typing this mail and she is smiling like Titanic’s Rose Patti.I m sure she has gone back to memory lane.

For beating retreat I always used to wear jeans ,Khadi kurtha and a pair of Gogo glasses.(God alone knows why I did that) it is my favorite function too.The finishing touches given to the occasion with illumination of the N and S blocks Rashtra pathi Bhawan Parliament house and the prompt applause and cheers of the President and that of the distinguished audience was so genuine,soul searching and meaningful.

Thanks to the then CPWD for amazing arrangements.

Today three of us sang “Hey mere vatan ke logon zara aankh mein bhar lo paani ” in our soceity’s RD celeb.I wore a White saree and the others Saffron and Green.

Jai Hind ki sena

Jai Hind


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3 Responses to “Republic Day!”

  1. suchitra Says:

    sir…how lucky you were able to see all that live. i am yet to see the parade live and it still remains my dream…it was also a ritual in our house to watch it on tv year after year. my mom used to prepare brunch and it was the rare occasion where we were allowed to sit infront of tv and eat. then my father would explain everything frm the tanks to guns to migs…and of course we looked forward to maharashtra tableaux…and if it was not judged the best it was a personal let down !!once one ncc cadet frm my school was choosen to represent in the parade and we spoke abt it for a year…..then later i tried to generate the same excitment in my daughter also…..and the ritual continues… thanks for bringing back the fond memories…

  2. Sailesh Says:

    Dear Sir, I wanted to thank you for your stupendous work in narrating the Mahabharata and making it available to the general public.Your wonderful narration does bring the epic to life in my mind! I bought the first part, Bheesma Parva, from the Charsur website several months ago and have been eagerly awaiting the release of the second part. Do you plan to release this soon?

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