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The day Rajpath dressed at its traditional best

Vijetha S.N
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23 tableaux add to the Republic's colours

The sun and the fun:A colourful Goa tableau rolls down Rajpath during the 63rd Republic Day celebration in New Delhi on Thursday.— Photo: R.V.Moorthy
The sun and the fun:A colourful Goa tableau rolls down Rajpath during the 63rd Republic Day celebration in New Delhi on Thursday.— Photo: R.V.Moorthy

The poetry of West Bengal, the occult of Karnataka, the fabled royalty of Punjab and the dancing ladies of Rajasthan were all on display at the 63rd Republic Day Parade on Rajpath here on Thursday.

As many as 23 tableaux belonging to different States and Central Government Ministries were on display under diverse themes.

While the peace and tranquillity of poet Rabindranth Tagore's “Shantiniketan” was showcased by West Bengal, painted men and women bearing strange ornaments were led by a man dressed as an extortionist in Karnataka's “Bhootaradhane”, a tableaux depicting the abode of benevolent ghosts.

Punjab's royal regalia were showcased in the form of their much beloved ruler Maharaja Ranjit Singh, also known as the Sher-e-Punjab. The Maharaja had a white beard, almost reaching his stomach, and was attired in yellow robes and red turban. He was astride a toy elephant and obediently twirled his moustache at regular intervals to the delight of the audience.

The statue of Nataraja (God of Dance and an avatar of Shiva) framed the Ellora temples in the Maharashtra tableau, whose theme centred on “tourism”. Several men dressed in the manner of Shiva, with matted hair and markings of the vibhuti on their forehead, danced ahead of the tableau to the accompaniment of rousing music.

Women in blue dresses on the Goa tableau were dancing spiritedly to the sound of the drums, seeking to herald a carnival-like atmosphere at the parade. There was a man astride a “throne” of sorts who either waved or threw flying kisses at the enraptured audience.

The Rajasthan tableau had been themed around the Fort of Amer as a symbol of their architecture and culture, but it was the dancing ladies in front of the tableau dressed in colours like bright pinks, oranges, greens and reds that stole the show.

The music accompanying the “Bhortal” dance by Assamese men in white had audiences clapping, with little children trying to ape their movements.

The “Punjab Mail” tableau of the Railways was led by colourfully dressed men and women energetically dancing the bhangra .

The dancing children underneath the “tree of knowledge” from the Human Resource Development Ministry tableau received loud cheers and claps mostly from other children in the audience.

A lady trying to check-in what looked like her baby at the airport drew a lot of giggles from the audience at the Ministry of Finance tableau themed “Indian Customs: A Proactive Force to Guard Our Economic Frontiers.” It showed Customs officials at work in different sectors like shipping and airports.

The Jammu and Kashmir tableau which sought to highlight its architectural heritage had reproductions of important monuments and depictions of daily life, like one man staring dreamily out of a latticed window. Bihar operated under the theme ““Dharhara's Daughters Of The Forest” which had women celebrating the birth of a girl child by planting trees.


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