Beating Retreat is a military ceremony which is performed by some of the countries in the world and India is one of them. Beating Retreat was first performed in England in 16th Century AD.
In India it happens on third day after the Republic Day and denotes the end of Republic Day Festivities. it is performed by the band of three wings of the Indian military Army, Navy, and Air Force. Beating Retreat held on Vijay Chowk, flanked by the north and south block of the Rashtrapati Bhavan (President’s Palace) towards the end of Rajpath. President of India is the Chief Guest of the function.
In India most of the people don’t even know about this function. Although they do know about Republic Day on 26th Jan but not because it’s celebrate the foundation of our Institution but because it add a holiday in our calendar. Well we can have a debate on that topic for ages but I don’t want to be part of that. Well Last month I have attended the Beating Retreat (Full Dress Rehearsal) for the first time in my life at vijay chowk and I only have one word to describe the experience and that word would be “Tremendous”.
I reached earlier at the venue to grab the front row seat to see the whole function without any disturbance. Front row got 10 Seats to grab, but 8 out of 10 was reserved for Indian Navy Flag Unfurling Staff Members, It looked like that the Front row was reserved for Indian Navy Staff Member and I was sitting with them cause I grab one seat of the remaining two and it gives a unique experience to feel like a VIP.
The Function begins when President (Dummy President, cause it was a rehearsal) arrive with their bodyguard. This time there was some changes in the function, For the first time ever the sitar, santoor and tabla was heard along with the military bands. There was an stunning Jugal-bandi of music between orchestra and tabla. Every band of the military was playing great music which forces the listeners to tap to the beat.
For me the most Highlighted part of the function was that moment when Indian Naval Band played an Original Special Drum Music which really gives a chill to everyone who listens to them. They have that vibe in it. They were so energetic and well-rehearsed and organized with their instruments and team members.
In the end, There was a bugle call for Sunset by the buglers and the national flag was slowly brought down. The Band Master then marches to the president and request permission to take the bands away. At the same time North and South Blocks of the Parliament was lit by Beautiful Display of Lights and the scene was astounding.
Copyright ©2016 Himanshu Sisodia All Rights Reserved.