Thursday, January 29, 2015

Thamasoma Jyothirgamaya: Beating the Retreat Ceremony

Beating the Retreat Ceremony: officially denotes the end of Republic Day festivities and is performed after three days from Republic Day.

It is a ceremony and performed by the bands of the three wings of the military, the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. The venue is Raisina Hills and an adjacent square, Vijay Chowk, flanked by the north and south block of the Rashtrapati Bhavan towards the end of Rajpath. This ceremony revives an ancient war custom according to which troops used to stop fighting at sunset. Bugles announcing the sunset would sound in the battlefield. 

As soon as soldiers heard these bugles they would stand still in the battlefield and war would be stopped for the day. Now a days of course one must be prepared 24 hours, one must be on guard all the time to protect our country.

The ceremony opens with a parade by selected contingents of the armed forces set to scintillating performances by the various armed forces bands. The parade reaches its climax with all the bands playing in unison. 

As the bands fall silent, a lone trumpeter picks up the moving tune ‘Siki a mole’. After this performance the hymn ‘Abide with me’ is played by the Massed Bands. It is such a beautiful tune.

This year the Indian tunes flavoured  the 'Beating the Retreat' ceremony here. As many as 20 out of 23 performances have been composed by Indian musicians. This year some 'desi' new tunes were played for the first time like 'Vir Bharat', 'Chhana Bilauri', 'Jai Janam Bhumi' and 'Athulya Bharat'.
Other tunes were 'Deshon Ka Sartaj Bharat', 'Cutty's Wedding', 'Piper O' Drumond', 'Gorkha Brigade', 'Ocean Splendour', 'Blue Field', 'Battle of the Sky', 'Anandloke', 'Dashing Desh', 'Flying Star', 'Glorious India', 'Bhupal', 'Indian Soldiers', 'Hathroi', 'Salam to the Soldiers', 'Giri Raj', 'Drummers' Call', 'Abide With Me', 'Hey mera Watan ke logon' 'Vande mataram' and lastly the ever-popular 'Sare Jahan Se Acha'.

One by one, the camels and the riders who stood stone-like throughout, against the backdrop of the sky, move away from the background.
At exactly 6 pm, the buglers sound the retreat and the National Flag is lowered to the National Anthem bringing the Republic Day celebrations to a formal end.

This time you would have noticed that the flag was lowered by a woman. There is a way to lower the flag and there is also a specific way to fold it, and it has to be handed over to the right person who would keep it safe till the next day.

'Beating Retreat' marks a centuries old military tradition, when the troops ceased fighting, sheathed their arms and withdrew from the battlefield and returned to the camps at sunset at the sounding of the Retreat. Colours and Standards are cased and flags lowered. The ceremony creates a nostalgia for the times gone by.

All at once the whole place gets magically illuminated:

THAMASOMA JOTHIRGAMAYA - from Tamaso(Darkness) take me to Jyothi (Light of bliss, faith, of knowledge)

Watch this Video if you have missed watching this spectacular event.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Happy Republic Day To All Indians!!!

It feels so good to see India as a vibrant country, its diversity, its unity, despite efforts made by certain sections de-establish it: this is  a country that none can break or divide.  Although we gained independence on August 15th 1947, we were still a colony of Britain. 

However, on January 26th 1950, we the people of India were really free from the British rule. On this historic day our constitution was officially enforced, making us a: Sovereign, Secular, and Democratic Nation.
What a proud day, it was, it is, and will always remain so.
For us there is no difference, we  are all one and enjoy living together.

1950 First Republic Day of India speech by Dr. Rajendra Prasad 

"We must re-dedicate ourselves on this day to the peaceful but sure realization of the dream that had inspired the Father of our Nation and the other captains and soldiers of our freedom struggle, the dream of establishing a classless, co-operative, free and happy society in 'his country'. We must remember that this is more a day of dedications than of rejoicing - dedication to the glorious task of making the peasants and workers the toilers and the thinkers fully free, happy and cultured." 

Today, we have at last, realized the significance of India becoming a Republic: we the citizens of India have the power to govern ourselves, by choosing our own government.
Isn't it a great feeling?

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Variety is the spice of life: and we have ample of varieties!
Happy Republic Day To Every Indian!!!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year!

The New Year gives us fresh 365 days to play with –  to fill them up with whatever our heart's desires so that we have no regrets at the end of the annual cycle.

I look back at the year gone by, and feel that it had treated me pretty well, and I am thankful to the year gone by. I have no regrets and I look forward to this year with the same enthusiasm.
I am glad I have so many good friends and it was good interacting with all of them.

I welcome 2015 with a big smile, Cheers!!!
Let this year 2015 bring us lots of happiness and peace!