"To salute the President is such a great honour; I could not believe if it was in real"
New Delhi: It was a proud moment for Captain Tunku Ismail Ibrahim, grandson of the Sultan of Johar, when he saluted President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, leading the mounted column of the Jaipur-based 61st Cavalry at the Republic Day parade on Friday.
"To salute the President is such a great honour. I could not believe if it was in real," said an elated Ibrahim, the first foreigner to lead a unit of the Army contingent.
Thrilled at the opportunity, the young Malaysian prince, who was commissioned in the Army two years ago after passing out from the prestigious Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehra Dun, told a private TV channel that it was like a "dream come true."
"It is a family tradition to get trained in the forces. My grandfather was trained in the Malaysian Army. My father, the Crown Prince of Johar, received training in the U.S.," said Ibrahim, the first member of his family to join the Indian Army.
"It is a great honour to be part of such a great Army and to take part in the national event," the Captain added.
Asked to compare life in Malaysia with that in India, he pointed out that they (his brothers back in Malaysia) were more "free and do not have much restrictions."
"As a result, they can focus on the responsibilities and have free time as well unlike me," said Ibrahim, one of the most talked about `star' of the parade.
He explained: "I have added responsibilities but being trained in the Indian Army, I have learnt to take it as a challenge." PTI