Sixteen-year-old Lima Mirin Imchen had come all the way from Mokokchung in Nagaland to the Capital to witness the spectacle of Republic Day and Beating the Retreat ceremony.
According to him, if the R-Day parade was impressive, the 75-minute Beating Retreat on Tuesday evening "bowled" him away.
“It was amazing and quite perky to be honest with you. It was as if the band members were having a lot of fun while playing their pieces in a systematic way. I loved it," said Imchen, who studies in class 10.
At 5pm, as the buglers sounded the fanfare, massed bands comprising all the three armed forces— army, navy and air force — came down to the Raisina Hills playing "Kadam Kadam Badhaye Ja".
After that the pipes and drum bands, the navy and air forces bands and the military bands played separate impressive routines, before playing together to mark the end of the event.
However, the one that caught the eyes and ears of the gathering was the fantasia routine by the navy and air force men on the tunes of a fresh entry in the beating retreat parade, The Admiral's Insignia.
An adrenaline rush was noticed by the enigmatic music as the drummers were seen breaking to the amazing beats. The crowd lapped up the performance on display with thunderous applauses.
Lt Cdr SK Champion, principal conductor of this year's event, is the composer of this tune. According to him, the desire of something different is making choreography more flexible.
“We performed this routine in Mumbai in December, where pyrotechnics were also used. A sailor in Mumbai, Ranjit G, worked extensively with the drummers to perfect this routine,” said Lt Cdr Champion, who has been a part of the Beating Retreat every year since he was commissioned in 2001.