Whether it’s our Army prepping to display their military might, eclectic dances that are a piece of India’s unity in diversity, or our border warriors performing bike stunts amongst others, every Indian has fond memories of the Republic Day Parade.
We aren’t in school anymore, prepping to hoist flags and be dragged in for performances, but youngsters from the city are still buzzing with excitement — trying to scour passes to the famed 68th Republic Day parade at the Manekshaw Grounds or just clocking in early to catch the Delhi action on TV. Either way, a piece of national pride? This way, please!
For most of them, it’s the sheer nostalgia. “I still remember watching the Republic Day Parade live when I was a five-year-old. My father was posted at Delhi at the time and took me along with him,” recollects Anjalli Sukumaran.
A jewellery designer from the city and the daughter of an army personnel, Anjalli says that she was in awe to see huge army tanks and people from different battalions marching in immaculate sync.
“That's when my father told me that they practice for months to get into such perfect sync. Since then it's been a tradition at home to watch the Republic Day Parade every 26th January,” she says.
“I still remember clinging on to my father’s hand in the crowd, trying to get a clear view of the parade at Manekshaw Grounds for the very first time! Ever since, I make it a point to catch it live or on TV at the least,” says Charlotte William, a counselling psychologist from the city. “While there may be many people who can do bike stunts, to see different troupes try their stunts with so much zeal and coordination is a whole ball game altogether,” she says.
Aside of the level of innovation that keeps people coming back for more, it’s the sense of patriotism that it instills. “It brings back memories of our childhood where we attended the gathering and sang the national anthem,” says Anoop Nagabhushan, a software development engineer, adding that watching the Parade would be the best part of the whole experience as it symbolises the essence of freedom dignity and discipline.
You can only imagine how inspired city folk are, if they are breaking into verse! Rahul Nixon, a 24-year-old CA student had this to say – “Footprints that differ, and strides of a regiment being a constant. What marches on, is more than a parade, is a republic. The sand of the Manekshaw Grounds bears memory of our unity, it gasps of our sovereignty and resonates our Constitution. Lo our cultural heritage and the diversity of one subcontinent. Sense the tremble in the air, that is a consequence of the air force display, and find celebration in the dances of our democracy. Find a memory, you will, in watching the Republic day Parade,” he tells us.