I am the alpha and the omega
October 29, 2003
My Tryst With Destiny 
The RD Xperience Part II
Disclaimer : Same as the previous one

It was the morning of the 25th January, when I settled down in a room in the 17th floor of Hotel Indraprastha. (For those who have no idea what I am talking about, pleaz read the previous post). 17th floor was the highest I had ever gone to till now. In Chennai, till then, I was limited to 14. The view from this height was beautiful. It was then that I realised some familiar landmarks from my previous visit to Delhi. The other friends whom I had mentioned in the previous posts got accomodated in nearby rooms. Weather was fine. My roomy had also arrived - he was a guy from Kanpur. Tragedy were to befell him. He could not get a security clearance and would not be going to the parade. Did I mention that there were also a lot of intelligent birdies present...?!!

After a very standard lunch, I got my Travel Allowance settled. Then myself and my parents started walking and By jove we reached the Connaught Place and the Pallika Bazaar. We shopped for a while and returned back for a High Tea with the Joint Secretary of the Government of India - Mr Champak Chatterjee. Had a nice time where we introduced ourselves - all of 90 people. We had people from all the corners of India (that is TRUE). After dinner, had a nice chat with my friends and settled down to sleep for the BIG day tomorrow.

I got up to face my roomy looking dejectedly sad - as he did not get the clearance to got the parade. Pitied him - for a while. Got ready and dressed up in the neatest of shirts and was waiting for the bus to take us to the parade.

Do u people recall the other famous thing that happened on the morning of 26th of January, 2001. It was the Bhuj earthquake. It was felt in Delhi too, but I didnt feel anything as I was sitting in the bus. But I did not know at that time that there was a EQ. Anyway we were taken to the parade region (near India Gate) and after a hell a lot of security checks, they admitted us in. (U mite say they checked upto the last atom, but I suppose that was reasonable, given to where we did sit). We were ushered in to the Prime Minister's Box. It was rite by the road and barely 50m away from the protected enclosure where the PM sits.

I forgot to mention - it was cold, very cold. I heard that the people in the parade practice from abt 5 am. I dunno how they bear that. The previous nite, even with two layers of woollen blankets. God they are thick - skinned (not derogatory...)

I saw the PM come in and the President's Gaurd come by in horses. I vaguely remember the exact details from now on. I suppose u can watch any RD parade on TV to get the exact details. But the feeling of being that close to everything was outta this world. I did manage to see the Prime Minister and the Defence Minister too. I liked the fly by's especially the Vertical Charlie performed by a Sukhoi - Had u ppl been in Chennai during that airshow,u would know what a Vertical Charlie is. The floats were also good. The dances by various students and other troops was perfection. So was the 21 gun salute - it was LOUD. The parade ended by around 10, I suppose. On the TV commentary, we people just got a mention, u would have hardly seen me.

It was after we came back to the Hotel did I hear about the EQ in Gujarat. A great tragedy.... Even my parents felt it (they stayed in a different hotel)

After lunch, we got our certificates and our group photos. Later I got with my friends, strolled around the hotel, took some shots. The next day was supposed to be for a sight - seeing. But I had to skip it as I had to leave for Chennai the next day. After wishing sad goodbyes to my friends (they decided to stay) and trying to forget the birdies (which was difficult) we took the train to Chennai - the same Tamil Nad Express. And reached on the morning of Sunday. A good ending for a good beginning. An opportunity that cannot be missed, and a golden treasure to treasure. I got the group photo abt a week later. If I ever get it scanned, I will post it

The RD Xperience - Concluded
Back to the future

Posted by satosphere at 11:39 AM


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