Marching in the Rajpath R-Day parade for a record 18th time might be the biggest achievement for some, but for 47-year-old BSF jawan Dara Singh, it's a 'small' tribute to his namesake iconic wrestler.
Despite probably being the oldest among troopers of various forces, Singh says he is as excited as any first-timer.
His age actually makes him more responsible, he feels.
Marching on the Rajpath from 1996 to 2018
The first time Singh set foot on Rajpath was on January 26, 1996, and he's been doing so ever since.
The 5.9ft and 70-kg jawan is 17 years older than the average marcher, says DIG Pushpendra Singh Rathore, but that hasn't affected his "crisp and disciplined turn out that makes him different from others."
Rathore was the one who commanded the parade in 1997.
More than an achievement, Singh's age is additional responsibility
Singh believes his age brings added responsibility as "seniors tell me you are the one who will hold the contingent together."
But age isn't all that sets Singh apart; there's also his twirling moustache that he calls the "BSF trademark."
Fondly called 'Chacha,' the fitness enthusiast's 'guru mantra' for juniors is: "Be alert if you want to sleep peacefully."
After the parade, Singh will be back at India-Bangladesh border
Singh will be marching on the right flank of the 144-strong BSF contingent that faces the dignitaries on the dais.
For him, it is a matter of the "paltan (battalion) ki shaan (pride) that has to be ensured every time we hit the Rajpath."
After the parade, he will be back at the India-Bangladesh border in Meghalaya's Tura, where he's posted.