Kaza, Spiti, Himachal Pradesh, India, 26th of January 2017, 1056 hours:
The moment is here and so are the people of Kaza, the chief guest, Dr. Vikram Singh Negi (ADM, Kaza), and the local police led by DSP Mukesh Kumar, SHO Hira Singh Thakur, ASI Yashpal Sharma and Head Constable Ashish Thakur.
The turnout is amazing given the weather and given that half of Kaza is away this winter. The students are in strength as are citizens. The police force is looking smart and alert in their crisp uniforms. There is a light snow falling all around us. The sight of the Indian Tricolour unfurling and flying in this snow-scaped land to the accompaniment of the National Anthem adorned by the rapt attention and respect of all present, is mesmerising. I am overwhelmed to be standing here and experiencing this Republic Day function in Spiti- it is easily one of the proudest moments of my life.