City lad Vijin Venu was invited by the Prime Minister to witness the RD parade live in Delhi.

Watching the Republic Day (RD) parade is a thrilling experience. Watching it live from Rajpath in New Delhi is even more exciting. Then how would you describe watching the RD parade, live at Rajpath and as an invited guest of the Prime Minister? ‘Unforgettable' is the only word that comes to the mind of city boy Vijin Venu, who was privileged to savour this enviable experience.

Special invitee

National topper of the CBSE Std XII examinations held in 2009, Vijin was invited by the Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry to witness this year's RD parade from the PM's box at Rajpath.

“It was great. We sat in a special VVIP section, next to the Prime Minister's bullet proof chamber. The experience was so much different from watching the parade on television, which is what we are generally used to,” said an excited Vijin, who is a former student of Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Thiruvananthapuram.

A total of 100 meritorious students from all over India are invited every year by the HRD Ministry to witness the RD parade from the PM's Box at Rajpath. Vijin bagged the honour by topping the CBSE Std XII examinations in 2009 in science stream with an aggregate score of 490 out of 500. He has also bagged the coveted ‘Point One' merit certificate issued by CBSE for being among the top 0.1 percent of successful candidates.

Vijin, hailing from Kilimanoor, is the son of P. Venu, headmaster of PV UPS, Kilimanoor, and Kilimanoor Kasthurba Co-operative Bank senior clerk K.P. Girija Devi. His elder brother Vipin Venu is an engineering student.

Other than witnessing the RD parade, the HRD Ministry's invitation included a two-day itinerary with ‘Delhi darsan' and Metro Rail ride programmes. But the highlight, of course, was the RD parade. “It was a great opportunity for me to meet meritorious students from all across the country through this programme. By interacting and sharing ideas with them I think have come to understand a lot more about life and education in other parts of our country,” he said.

Aiming high

Vijin, who nurtures the ambition of becoming a scientist at the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), is currently undergoing coaching for IIT-JEE examinations in Rajasthan. Two other students from Kerala, CBSE Std X topper Gayathri from Ernakulam and BFA topper Ashwathy from Thrissur, were also part of the team.