The Men without Fear – A Photostory by Manish Jaisi

manish jaisi change of guard ceremony

Republic Day honors the date on which the constitution of India came into force, i.e., on 26 January 1950 replacing the Government of India Act 1935, as the governing document of India.

To make the event this big successful, year after year, is not an easy task. Preparations for the parade begin as early as 1st January at Rajpath. In the early hours of the day, when most of the city sleeps security forces start rehearsal in full swing at Rajpath in national capital, New Delhi amid moderate fog, braving the chilly wind.

Two years back, while going through photos of a fellow photographer Nimit Nigam, I hit upon a photo he had taken of the parade rehearsals. I was so much influenced by that photograph that I had made my mind to capture the rehearsal activities in a story telling way. As January of 2015 began, I started to visit Rajpath in search of rehearsal activities. Just to be there on early mornings and to witness these soldiers gather and practice in harmony is a chilling experience and always gave me goose bumps. The activities start around 4 in the morning and stretch up to noon as the final day approaches. Various regiments of the Indian army occupy parts of Rajpath and Vijay Chowk as they perform again and again, until the coordination and harmony is pin point.

Being a freelancer it is always tough to get access at certain areas, and as 26 January approaches the security tightens very much. Nevertheless I have tried to make most of the opportunities I got and here I am portraying some of the pictures I have shot in two years of following the rehearsals.

manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
Soldiers start the day as they march past the North Block buildings.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
After a two hour long session soldiers gather around the fountains near Rashtrapati Bhawan, where they are given a cup of tea and biscuits as breakfast.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
CRPF leader Sonia is all set to lead her contingent for a march down at Rajpath.manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
Indian Navy personnel march in formation down the ceremonial boulevard Rajpath during the rehearsal of Republic Day parade.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremonymanish jaisi change of guard ceremonymanish jaisi change of guard ceremonymanish jaisi change of guard ceremonymanish jaisi change of guard ceremony
These women soldiers were to be the highlight of the 2015 parade, for the first time an all women group was to perform the courageous bike stunts and they had practiced it a month for the show. But destiny had another plans for them, as the parade was cut short by an hour due to some security fears and these valiant ladies could not perform.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
A commando looks on as members of Delhi police practice the famous salute in front of the VIP box.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
The ‘black cat’ commandos of the elite counter-terror force NSG , for the first time in the history of Republic Day celebrations, will march down Rajpath in full armed gear during the upcoming celebration.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
A soldier from Indian Navy contingent marks salute under the watchful eyes of their commander.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
Marching on. Soldiers from the Indian Navy move past the India gate.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
Military bands are an important part of the parade.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
The President’s horsemen. The president’s bodyguard which happens to be the oldest surviving mounted unit and the senior most regiment of the Indian Army take part in a parade rehearsal.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
A soldier warms up before the parade activities begin.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
Soldiers line up besides an artificial lake near Rasthrapati Bhawan, as they listen to commands from their chief.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
Soldiers return back in groups after completion of a successful parade round.
manish jaisi change of guard ceremony
Sharanjeet Kaur of CISF leads her contingent for a march down at Rajpath.

About Myself:

I am Manish Jaisi, a self taught, Delhi(India) based photographer. An environmentalist by degree but a photographer by heart. Taking inspiration from my father, I ventured into the world of photography three years back.
My journey started out with a film camera a Zenit 12 XP full manual, which helped me learn the basics, but it was getting a digital SLR camera, a Canon 600D that really gave me the freedom to shoot. Starting out I was fascinated towards nature and macro, but now I have graduated to taking photographs that tells a reality. My favorite subjects to shoot are streets, people and places. I give more emphasis towards the human element in my work. I now see the daily life in a different way trying to include a human element in my photographs.
Photography for me has been my identity, people know me through my work. It is now more than a hobby or a passion, it has become a way of life. Photography has helped me out to express myself to the world, it has been my power. Been based in Delhi, I am constantly capturing the different vibes and moods of this city. I love exploring the streets of this city. Therefore, a bigger part of my work includes pictures from this city. I like to portray emotions and stories from the streets of Delhi in my photographs.
My favorite lens to shoot is the 50 mm, or the nifty-fifty as photographers call it. It’s my go to lens and I have trained myself to look in way a 50 mm lens does. Around 80% of my shots are taken with a 50 mm lens. I also own a couple of old school manual lenses a 58mm Helios f/2, and a 135 mm f/3.5.
Though my favorite genre of photography is street, I also shoot portfolios, pre-wedding and wedding to raise money.
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About Author

Manish Jaisi
I am Manish Jaisi, a self taught, Delhi(India) based photographer. An environmentalist by degree but a photographer by heart.Taking inspiration from my father, I ventured into the world of photography three years back.

  • Saurabh Jakhmola

    Slow shutter shot is awesome.