March of the Light Brigade

India celebrates 26th January as its Republic Day. On that day, in 1950 the Constitution was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India, with a democratic form of government. Today, India is the largest democracy in the world.

Every year, on 26th January, a grand parade is held in the national capital, New Delhi to celebrate the occasion.

A similar parade, though on a much lower scale is also held in different state capitals of the country, including Kolkata (Calcutta), which is the Capital of West Bengal.Preparations for the parade start weeks ahead, culminating on the D-Day. I have never been able to get hold of a pass to see the parade on 26th January, but I was walking around the Maidan area one early foggy morning in January, photographing the morning walkers, when I saw that the parade preparations were in full swing. It was like a carnival at that early morning, with all the soldiers and policemen and school-children, practicing their steps and waiting for their group’s turn to march.

For me this was a perfect setting, because, unlike on the 26th when all roads would have been closed not just for vehicles but also people walking, on this Saturday morning, I was actually able to walk alongside the participants while they practiced the march past.

Here are some of those moments captured.

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These two boys were diligently practicing their steps on Queen’s Way, which had been closed to traffic.

Steadying the flag

Steadying the flag

left..right...left

left..right…left

School-children waiting their turn to march

School-children waiting their turn to march

Hundreds of school-chidren brave the morning chill to come for the practice everyday

Hundreds of school-chidren brave the morning chill to come for the practice everyday

The girl in the last row mistook me for a journalist, ad pleaded, "Please do publish one photo of me...no one takes photos of people standing at the back!"...I had to oblige her! :)

The girl in the last row mistook me for a journalist, and pleaded, “Please do publish one photo of me…no one takes photos of people standing at the back!”…I had to oblige her! πŸ™‚

Red Royal Enfield bikes are the signature of Kolkata Police...and they really look commanding in these!

Red Royal Enfield bikes are the signature of Kolkata Police…and they really look commanding in these!

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The Bagpipers

And...the drummers

And…the drummers

The starting point

The starting point

Marching by...

Marching by…

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Time to call it a day....

Time to call it a day….

Hope you enjoyed this, rehearsal of the Indian Republic Day.

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24 thoughts on “March of the Light Brigade

  1. Wow, i love the way you have treated the photos. With the different shadings, the essence of what’s taking place comes out even better. And the last girl in the row got her wish! πŸ™‚

  2. Well it looks like you certainly got the attention of the girls in image No.5! So nice.
    It is such a different feel watching this is black and white to. The first image really stands out with the fog making it extra interesting. Great post, lucky you were there!
    Cheers

  3. Reblogged this on CultureGeek and commented:
    Reblogging this post with it’s exceptional photographs of the Republic Day in India. The photos are beautiful and almost haunting and seem to tell a story of their own. Thanks Know-All! πŸ™‚

  4. When I was in Delhi I loved to get up early in the morning and spend time out in the streets before life began and the places rapidly filled up with people. The cold, winter fog and quietness were quite nice.

    • I also enjoy not just photographing but, witnessing any city waking up and coming to life! In fact, wherever I go, I make it a point to wake up early and go out for a walk( helps to be an early riser) πŸ™‚

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