Changing guards at the President’s palace

President’s guards meet Press corps

In our search for weekend photo opportunities across Delhi, it was pure luck that we came to know of the changing guard ceremony at the Rastrapati Bhawan on Saturday morning.

While the ceremony is a weekly affair and open to everyone, yesterday’s ceremony was a more elaborate version. The  15th Battalion of the Jammu and Kashmir Rifles Regiment was handing over the task of guarding the President of India to the 28th Battalion of the Madras Regiment.

Well before the ceremony, I had positioned myself with the press photographers at one end of the road. Zestfully guarding my right to the center of the road’s yellow line. And for a few minutes soaked in the atmosphere of professional camaraderie the press photographers shared. Calling each one not by their individual names but the channel or media they represented. Ensuring that there was no jostling or inadvertent intrusion in  each others  frames.

It was a good place to be.

Our shoot went down hill quite literary after this. As the crowds swarmed their way up Raisina Hill,  inside the iron gates of Rashtrapati Bhavan, a fellow photography enthusiast friend and I found ourselves locked out.

One gate one we got asked “Are you Press”
truthful us said no.
“Sorry only press allowed”

At the other gate when asked “Are you Press”
we (prepared this time we thought) said YES!
“Sorry no Press allowed!!”

And on our final attempt, on asked to produce ID, the national government issued driving license didn’t meet the standards of military citizenship proof. (My eyebrows have been raised since then. Been 24 hours or more)

Ah ha but that my dears is life. You just can’t win when you just cant win 🙂

The 28th Madras regiment is one of the oldest and most decorated Regiments of the Indian Army. It was raised in 1758, as the Madras Army as designated as the Madras Regiment in 1947.

“They’re changing guard at Buckingham Palace –
Christopher Robin went down with Alice.
“Do you think the King knows all about me?”
“Sure to, dear, but it’s time for tea,”
Says Alice”

And so, we went for a good Madrasi breakfast 😀

Photography tip: Arriving early and marking your positions in advance is smart. Learning to lie with confidence, at times, a vital asset.

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