International Fleet Review 2016 ~ A glorious showcase of Indian maritime capabilities
As India celebrates its 70th Independence day on August 15th, the country looks back and also looks ahead to the strides it has made in many fields. Sure, we have to go a long way and till date, there are many basic amenities that the people of this huge country still do not enjoy. But we have a come a long way in 70 years and our armed forces are something we take immense pride in (and rightly so!!) . We have the best trained forces, equipments and facilities. And we love to show off once in a while So on the occasion of Independence day, the husband writes a beautiful piece on ‘International Fleet Review 2016’ which he had the good fortune of attending earlier this year.
Vishkapatnum was beautifully decorated for the occasion and lightings at night made it look like a bride. On the morning of the fleet review I was in total owe by the naval officers in bright spotless white uniforms with all the medals, decoration and sword (Got to know from my arm friend that out of the three arms of the forces Navy has the most rituals, traditions and uniform. We boarded the Presidendial yatch at the eastern naval dock which also had honourable president, prime minister and defence minister. The fleet review is similar in way to parade in during republic day with a difference that the ships with their platoons are lined up on either side in sea and presidential yatch sails in between. As the president sails past the ships he is given salute in Hindi-Rastrapatiji ki Jai.
The president hosted dinner where main attraction among the navy wives was the Prime Minister who was flocked by them to selfies. Next day evening special programme was organized by navy for public also attended by the Prime minister. It included rescue operations by marine commandos, parachuting, fighter planes flying at low levels, march by navies of the participating countries, dance performances by school children. The show ended with spectacular fireworks and dinner hosted by PM.
So a apparently boring official trip turned to be a nice experience and while returning I cannot forget the the sight from the plane of lighted ships dotting the sea like jewels in pitch darkness.