Thursday, 11 December 2014

The D Day - 11th Dec 1999

The month long practice of the parade and wearing out of numerous pairs of rugged drill boots in doing so, would be culminating on this day 11/12/1999. Being winter the dress was blue patrol, immaculately ironed and all the brass buttons buffed to their shiny limits. All gentleman cadets getting ready for the D day well before the dawn.

Ready before dawn
The morning was cold and misty. And for those of us who were taking the ‘antim paksh’ – the last step were having ambivalent feelings – happy because we are passing out and we would never have to undergo the tough routine again, sad because we would be leaving a place of highest learning and discipline and above all we would be saying good bye to friends from all over the Indian sub continent the next day. The bond that was formed in the academy can never be formed anywhere. The mental and physical harassment that was undergone together had shown and bared the soul to each other, we know each friend not only physically but also from the soul. It is during the harsh times, that people bare the soul for all to see.

As we stood there without shaking a hair all the thoughts of being in this Academy flashes through our mind. Even the worst things like punishments and getting zero points, now on retrospect, look beautiful and enjoyable. From the corner of my eyes I could see my friends on both left and right looking straight in ‘mishram’ position. I thought that I saw a sparkle in their eyes too perhaps we are trained to do and think same.

The bugle for the arrival of the chief guest was blown on the dot time to the ‘military precision’. The chariot carrying the chief guest can be heard – the trotting sound of hoof of four horses on the hard ground can be heard. This sound takes my thoughts to the equestrian field. I used to dread the horses. They are extremely tall and eyes like monsters telling me ‘you joker! Try mounting me and I will show you how you fly’. I fell so many times from the horse for I did not want to fly. During the test I stick on the horse back with all my might till it finished jumping the entire obstacles. It was the horse who passed the test, not me. So I did give an extra “shabash gora” which was done by giving ‘ek, ek, do’ pat on the horse’s neck, this infuriated the saab to get me rolling.

The command from the parade commander brought me back to reality, whether command or not my foot will do the right thing in auto pilot due to innumerable rehearsals and practices, and it did just that. When the salute was given and the turns were made there was “wow” noise heard from the audience bringing in us more josh. The drill went very well without anyone fainting despite standing still on the parade ground for almost 3 or more hours.

Dere chal Approaching the last step
The ‘dere chal’ and the music by the band brought tears into our eyes. For ex NDA’s it was the second time. As we approached the step where it was aptly engraved on the step “antim paksh” the excitement was so much that the slow march felt like a fast march needing to remind each other to follow the drums. The sound of drums never felt so beautiful and our feet barely touched the ground as if we were flying a few inches above the ground.

After piping ceremony we became lieutenant from GC. For those of us from Bhutan got married to this great organization thereafter, promising to give even our life if the need arises for the good of the king, country and the people.

105 reg
We the 105 regular were honoured to pass out just in time, when our country need us the most, in getting chance to prepare and to take part in the operations in 2003; Making our country peaceful yet again with immaculate plans and god like hand guiding us in the fields by our supreme commander, thus coming out victorious and alive to tell this story.