Celebrations of Patriotism with Enthusiasm!
'Mere Bharat Yashasvi Bhava', these were the golden words by which the morning of 26th January, 2014 saw the commencement of a glorious gala.

Students of various grades of IHS, performed with great intensity and splendour on 26th January, 2014. Many respected dignitaries, graced the event at Indian High School (IHS), Dubai with their presence and several proud Indians also attended the celebrations.

Our chief guests, H.E. Anurag Bhushan, the newly appointed Consul General (CG) of India to Dubai along with his wife, were welcomed at IHS by our Hon. Chairman Dr. L.M. Pancholia. The flag was hoisted by H.E. after which, the national anthem was sung by the school choir. On this prestigious day HE addressed the gathering and conveyed the Indian President's message to those present at the republic day celebrations. He said, "This is the day we remember our freedom fighters, members of the armed forces and martyrs who put their lives on line, so that we can live ours."
Continuing, with the President's message, he said, "The Republic Day commands the respect of every Indian. On this day, sixty four years ago, in a remarkable display of idealism and courage, we the people of India gave to ourselves a sovereign democratic republic to secure all its citizens justice, liberty and equality. We undertook to promote among all citizens fraternity, the dignity of the individual and the unity of the nation."
The Hon. Chairman of IHS, Dr. L.M Pancholia stepped on the podium to speak motivational words about the spirit and qualities a good leader should possess, with reference to words of Mr. R. Narayana Murthy. He said, "Courage is the most important attribute of a great leader, also, a good leader is one who is prepared to accept defeat as mistakes and defeat are the instruments of success."

While the Guest of Honour and our Chairman spoke, the IHS student body was arranged on the lawn vertically according to the four houses into squadrons, who were inspected by the chief guest, followed by the special scholastic and non-scholastic achievers of the year, who were also participants of the march-past parade. The brass band, led by drum majors Joshita D'Souza and Aakash Kumaran, played energetic marching beats. Shruthi Nambiar of 11 Sci A, who achieved 10 CGPA and was a part of the parade and commented, "I feel blessed that I'm a part of this event. I've participated in the Republic Day since I was in junior school, it really is an honour." Sharanyas of 10 F who was in the brass band said, "I was inspired by the crowd's response. I think after this, I will start my own band."
After the march past, 740 boys of grade 7 & 8 enthralled the crowd with their colourful "Tapestry of Splendour". It was followed by a musical interlude by 140 boys and girls of the Hindustani music choir. After the gala, nearly 216 students of Dubai Silicon Oasis paid a tribute to our motherland through their performance of "Maa Tujhe Salaam." Consequently, 550 proud boys of grade 3 & 4 presented a dance showcasing the unity of Indians despite their diverse cultures, such as Gujrathi, Marathi, Lucknowi, Rajasthani and Punjabi, followed by an array of umbrellas representing the Indian flag.
Lastly, 760 girls of grades 5 & 6 performed "The Valley of Flowers". Dressed in colourful costumes, the girls displayed an amalgamation of Indian and Arabic dance performances. The segment also focused on values like harmony, progress, peace, vision and resources that would propel India to pinnacle of success.

Several balloons, of colours orange, white and green, were released to heighten the zest of patriotic spirit, a proud parent gushed, "These are not just balloons, and these are the dreams of several IHS students reaching for the stars!" Maharishi Vijay Patil, Rominic Frances and Syed Tamim Ahmad, of grade 4 'N', who performed the traditional Maharashtrian Lazium dance, said, "We feel really happy performing for our nation."

Later, upon being asked about the event, Mr. Bhushan said enthusiastically, "I always knew this event at IHS would be the highlight of my tenure. In fact, my wife specially flew in to see the show." Before leaving, he left few inspirational words for the next generation, "You have to carry the torch of legacy forth, and you have the privileges and resources we did not have. We have high expectations out of you."

Several game and food stalls were manned by the Duke of Edinburgh students, the proceeds of which went to charity. Looking at the grand celebrations, RJ Lokesh Dharmani of City 1016, our official radio partners for the event, said, "I loved the event. It was well-organized and colourful." RJ Rohit Jayakaran of the 1016 team, reminisced his school days and said, "When I was a kid, even our school used to celebrate Republic Day in a similar fashion. But, this is on a larger scale."

The event was coordinated by Mrs. Latika Narain, whose birthday falls on the Indian Republic Day. The event was hosted by 12th grade students, Nandita Banerjee and Tejas Hariharan, on being asked about how they felt about hosting the event Nandita said, "The Republic day has always been my favourite event at school. This one has been a splendid one, and as I leave this school, it is a memory I will forever cherish in my heart."

The supervisor of grade 11 and 12 girls Mrs. Latika Narain on being asked what she thought about organizing the republic day, she replied, "I loved doing it as I am proud to be an Indian. I would definitely do it again."
- Written by Sanskriti Naik and Rachita Shah, Senior Reporters of Light House.