These days, as I commute to work every day, I am often delayed at Rajpath, where practice for the 26th January Parade is going in full swing. Though I am usually quite put off by delays in the morning, as they create a domino effect on the rest of my day, this delay I bear happily!
The Parade always instils a feeling of patriotism in my mind. However unmindful we are of our Nationalism the rest of the year, January brings us this reminder of our country’s strength—both military and cultural! The crispness of the uniforms of the jawans, the colour of the school children’s costumes and the beauty of the jhankis (the tableaux), all reiterate the grandeur of our wonderful country!
Of course, for me the Republic Day parade also brings nostalgia of several years of my childhood spent around the India Gate area. My friends and I used to watch the Parade live on TV, then rush down the stairs and line up on the roadside, while it went past. This was of course when the Parade went right through Kasturba Gandhi Marg (erstwhile Curzon Road) and then through Connaught Place, and not on its now-shortened route along Tilak Marg.
As we watch the Parade this year, whether on TV, or along Rajpath, I hope all of us reaffirm our belief in, and love for, this wondrous country of ours!