Our morning walks were on the Rajpath and after dinner walks were around the India Gate.
When I see them on TV now, I feel blessed that I lived in Delhi for 6 years.
As a part of the protocol from the NDC members, we used to ‘call on’ the President every year in the 3rd week of March. To have tea with the President and the ‘first lady’ in the Mughal Gardens and then sit between them and take a formal picture was another privilege I enjoyed, thanks to my husband!
Come December, the practising troops and groups for the parade would start their day at 5.00AM on bitterly cold winter mornings. From the 1st week of December to the 26th Jan, we would wake up to the marching tunes of different regiments. Watching the parade practice actually increased our eagerness to watch the final day show.
It is true that one has to be a bureaucrat or in defence to enjoy the frills and laces of Delhi. If Being in Airforce was the first privilege, the best one came from the fact that my husband was the staff officer to the Commandant of National Defence College.
We had special seats to watch the parade. I still remember the swell of my heart when we would all stand up for the national song and then watch the meticulous march of the military and the colourful tableau of the states.
The highlight of this republic day celebrations is the concluding ceremony on the 29th ‘Beating Retreat’ –the ceremony when all the defence forces symbolically retreat into the Rashtra Bhavan !
The selective bands of the military and paramilitary forces render the best tunes while the camels of the BSF troops stand regally on the walls of North and South Blocks. To be standing like statues for nearly 2 hrs, the camels have to be as disciplined as their masters.
I like festivals but the spirit this national festival used to bring in, is more re-energizing than any !
Looking back I feel that every Indian should have a first- hand experience of that might and glory to physically and emotionally feel ‘the country’.
Feeling the country, believing that it is our motherland and that we need to do something to make it a happy and prosperous place for all to live in a Secular, Socialist Republic is the responsibility of all of us.
It may take many ceremonies, many initiatives and many more people to initiate every Indian to contribute in the growth of the country.
Since childhood all of us are taught to take the Indian pledge, but how many of us actually feel the responsibility to practice the pledge? It is rather recited like a routine without any feelings to it.
Last year our students were kindly invited to a meeting called ‘Hindustan Hamara’, where the objective was to condemn the corruption in our country. I wanted my students to do something that has a lasting impact.
That is when I felt that we could write a new pledge that could actually give a personalized feeling to the oath. While the Indian pledge holds respect in my heart, I felt the need to define words that could lead to effective actions.
When my students made the audience of more than 500 adults take the new pledge, it was well received.
And now it is a regular practice in our school on all formal functions to make the guests of the school to take this new pledge. Of course our students take the pledge in the assembly.
It is my honour to share this with all those who visit my blog.
India is my country
And I will always strive
to make Me and My country
to help in the development of Mankind
To achieve this...
I shall be Caring for others and Principled in my behavior
I will be Reflective and responsible for all my actions
I will always be Open minded to new ideas and
respect others’ feelings
I will Communicate all my feelings positively
I will be an Inquirer and ask questions wherever required
I will be a risk taker and take time out to
initiate progressive actions and stop all negative traits
I will be a good thinker and a balanced person to
make myself into a proactive citizen at all times
I will always apply the knowledge
I acquire to lead myself and thereby my country.