Maybe it was the pressure of getting everything right or the lack of adequate sleep as many Delhi Police officers on duty in and around the Red Fort Thursday appeared to have no idea about the arrangements and lacked coordination among themselves.
Invitees to the Independence Day event had to face trouble on some of the roads leading to the Red Fort as police manning the checkpoints allowed cars with security stickers to pass, only to be stopped and turned back at the next check point. The cars were told to take an alternate route to the venue.
The media too faced hassles. A few metres away from the designated parking lot for the media a policeman stopped some of the vehicles and told mediapersons to alight and walk to the venue. When challenged by angry journalists, the policeman promptly called up his senior and upon realizing his mistake he allowed the cars to pass.
More confusion prevailed at the entrance to the media enclosure as security personnel allowed in cameramen from news channels but not any reporters.
The scribes were asked to enter from another gate, which was around 200 metres away, adding to the confusion.
It was only when the journalists called up senior officers that the confusion was cleared and scribes were let in.
After the heavy overnight showers, a dark and overcast sky since early morning Thursday became a cause for much concern for those gathered to hear Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Independence Day speech.
However, the weather gods were kind as minutes after Singh sat in his car and drove off it started pouring heavily.
Rain dance at Red Fort
As it started raining heavily, the hundreds of school children dressed in saffron, white or green of the tricolour and a transparent rain coat had a gala time.
As adults scampered for cover, the children stood their ground. Singing, dancing and hooting, the children made the most of the rain.
The show stealers !
For the hundreds of school children gathered at the Red Fort, the 21-gun salute at the beginning of the event and the sight of hundreds of saffron, white and green balloons being released in the sky were the real show stealers.
The excited children got so absorbed in counting out aloud each shot fired that they forgot to sing the national anthem which was playing along. The teachers quickly realized the faux pas and rebuked the children.
Minutes later, as the coloured balloons were released in the air the delighted students cheered and clapped.
Giant white balloons, unfurling the tricolour as they rose towards the sky also proved a captivating sight for the children and adults.