"While the arrangements to enter Rashtrapati Bhavan had been worked out to the last detail, it appeared that they had not paid the same attention for the end of the ceremony when guests would want to leave."
New Delhi, May 27 - The scene of action at the Rashtrapati Bhavan during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's swearing-in Monday was a distant spectacle for the hundreds of media persons, including many from the print media, invited to cover the ceremony.
With no giant screens to show the action going on in the front, the thousands of people sitting in the rear rows, which including the section for media persons, could only crane their necks helplessly to try and catch what was going on.
Media persons were in fact the section to be called in first, at 3.30 p.m. They all sat obediently in the hot sun till the ceremony began around 6 p.m. While camera persons had a raised stand at the back, the print media people had to sit among the other guests in a separate section.
Initially, during the one-and-a-half-hour-long ceremony, when Modi, and then his cabinet members, including Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, took oath, the enthusiasm among the people, including the media, was strong.
Everyone got up and craned their necks to spot the figures in the distance, only to be told by those at the back to sit down.
But after 15 names were read, the enthusiasm flagged, with the people tired of getting up to try and see what was going on.
The refreshments scene was no better. As soon as the ceremony was over, there was a rush to get tea and water and snacks.
With people hungry and thirsty, with the searing heat, there was a chaotic situation around the snacks counters behind the Jaipur column.
One could spot envoys looking lost among the crowd of people, that included hundreds of BJP supporters, as they walked, or rather were pushed, in the surge.
While the arrangements to enter Rashtrapati Bhavan had been worked out to the last detail, it appeared that they had not paid the same attention for the end of the ceremony when guests would want to leave.
There were thousands of people leaving at the same time. The arrangements seemed to have disappeared as people walked in all directions.