An excited M.S. Gill waving at his ministry's tableau or an overwhelmed President explaining on dabbawallahs to her counterpart, this Republic Day parade had some unforgettable moments

A splendid flypast by advanced fighter aircraft despite inclement weather invited smiles and a round of applause from hundreds of school children gathered at the Rajpath to witness the Republic Day parade.

The children were the most excited lot as one IL-78, two AN-32 and two Dornier in Big Bo formation led by Gp Capt. G C Mishra flew over Rajpath. It was followed by synchronised display of SU-30 MKI and Jaguar aircraft.

Spectators looked in awe as five MiG-29 aircraft flew in an arrowhead formation at a height of 300 metre above ocean level.

The last of the flypast was the breathtaking Trishul formation comprising three SU-30 MKIs which flew at a height of 300 metre AOL.

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Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee, Power Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde and Sports Minister M S Gill were seen clapping their hands and waving when their ministries’ tableaux rolled down the majestic Rajpath.

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As Maharashtra’s tableau rolled down Rajpath, President Pratibha Patil explained it to her South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-bak about the concept of dabbawalas and how they operate in Mumbai.

Mr. Deshmukh was also seen explaining to Mr. Azad on dabbawalas.

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Hundreds of students from various schools across the country performed different forms of dance such as Dollu Kunitha and Rajasthani folk dance. Students also performed Tamang Selo, a Sikkimese Folk dance, patronised by the Tamang Community.

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Reaffirming India’s commitment and concerns on the issue of global warming, the Central Public Works Department prepared a special floral tableau, depicting the adverse impact of global warming.

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’Shera’, the mascot of Commonwealth Games 2010, appeared twice during the Republic Day parade. Around 180 students from Delhi schools presented aerobics and one of them was attired as Shera.

First the Sports Ministry came up with the mascot in its tableau ‘Commonwealth Games’ followed by school children during their performance.

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Legendary athletes Milkha Singh and P T Usha, former hockey captain player Zafar Iqbal, badminton player Gopichand Pullela and shooter Samresh Jung were the stars accompanying the Sport Ministry tableau.

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The Kumbh Mela made its presence felt at the R-Day parade as a tableau depicting the grand religious event rolled down the Rajpath. The Mela is being held in Haridwar after a gap of 12 years.

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The astronomical observatory of Jaipur depicting the old method of measuring time by celestial observations also enthralled many.

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