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MAN, MUSTACHE & HIS MISSION

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MAN, MUSTACHE & HIS MISSION

It is a potent combination of sorts. The reassuring rays of the soft winter sun warming you as you patiently wait in a sea of humanity, as it were, along the grand Rajpath in New Delhi, and to your pleasant surprise marigold and rose petals shower down as three IAF helicopters hover above in a ‘V’ formation. Even as you pull your sweater tight over your chest, you knowthe goose bumps are not the result of the January chill.

It is indeed difficult to escape this bewitching moment.

For those of us who have spent our childhood days in front of Doordarshan on Republic Day, it was no less mesmerizing as Ustad Bismillah Khan’s shehnai would appear to slowly lift the fog off India Gate from where the brave came marching past on the Rajpath.

On one such cold morning in 2006, an extraordinary old man bundled up in a thick shawl and woolen cap sat upright on his wheel chair listening to the live commentary of the Republic Day parade on All India Radio. As the heav…