Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Golden Handshake – Best Lesson from JC

The best thing that I have learnt from the JC (Junior Command) course a couple of years back, is worth being written down else we forget about the behavior of one senior officer who made such great impact and inspired everyone of us including the Officers of the IA (Indian Army).

The course is for the duration of three months. If it could be conducted leisurely the course content would easily fill a year. During the sand model discussions we crave for breaks and pray that the instructors miss the class but that seldom happens. The discussions progress with tanks and artilleries moving along the arrowheads placed for it to maneuver. Blue land and red land always fighting with one CT from there and one CG from here… establishing blocking position along with tank hunting team…with open eyes many dozed off in the midst of turmoil, the secret specialty of an officer, especially ex NDAs.

Towards the end of the course, there was a whole day class on ‘fire plan’ by Colonel Keen; we came to know that he was due for pension the next day, bang on the date to the military precision of the Indian Army. We felt sorry for colonel Keen and also thought that the class on ‘fire plan’ would either be taken by others or it would be a free day. We were wrong on both the counts. Colonel Keen came to class on the dot time as always, immaculately dressed, with good military bearing of that of a fresh young officer. The way he carried himself and conducted the classes that day would make any one feel that he was not leaving the army anytime soon.

The classes conducted with full ‘josh’ and after clearing all the doubts. Someone from the class voiced the real doubt, felt by all, by the way the colonel conducted and carried himself with grace and charm,  asked, “Sir, we heard that you will be going on pension, is it right sir?”

“Yes, you heard it right. I have another 18 hours or so left to serve in army, if you have any doubt you all can see me at the Mess” Saying that he left the class, leaving a lump in the throat of all the student officers and some emotional ones trying hard to not to cry. Because such fine officer with profuse knowledge about the art of war would be leaving the fraternity and what use would that knowledge serve outside? Thought I, with the attitude and the charisma that he displayed on the last day, well, any organization would like to have him - a polished product.  

Colonel Keen had taught a best lesson that time by the way he carried himself with pride despite knowing that it was his last day as an instructor and as officer in the armed force. How many of us had seen people resigning as gracefully as him? How many of us would be able to conduct the same golden handshake as colonel Keen?

Whatever may be colonel Keen had taught us subtly, that best way to do a golden handshake, is with pride and not bad-mouthing about the organization with which you are associated for so many years, for that many years are there for the youngsters who are watching you exit, keenly.