Uncategorized

Roadtrip Redefined

Roadtrips are fun aren’t they? This one had plenty, but it wasn’t all fun.

In the year of 1992, there was a sudden deployment of a TROPO unit to somewhere near Hajipir, Gujrat. It was of immense strategic importance and the move was based on reasons of the clandestine kind. A perilous location (marshes, barren land and then of course the LOC). An officer was called back from his honeymoon to lead the move of this unit. As the execution of the unit neared the end of its tenure, his wife undertook a roadtrip to the unit along with some friends.

modMaps

The roadtrip consisted of a family of four, a young couple (my parents) and the wife (I’ll call this whole bunch of people: *the group*) all stuffed in one Gypsy. They started from Naliya and travelled for 90 kilometres in sandy, inhospitable conditions and rough terrain to reach as close as possible to the unit. They reached to a point where even the mighty gypsy couldn’t go further. There was a BOP nearby which provided some camels for the next part of the journey to reach the unit. Here comes the fun part! The moment everyone sat on their respective camels, it rained which is very rare in that part of the country. Now imagine this! You’re sitting at the height of almost 12 feet and the camel suddenly starts feeling “not so sure” about his legs owing to the slippery muck created due to the rain. The camels panicked and started running. The person who handled the camels had instructed everyone that a nudge on the rope on either side left or right would turn the camel. The detail he had left out is a nudge too strong would make the camel do a 360 degree turn and it would feel like figure skating (due to the slippery ground) except with a camel in the middle of the nowhere. As the camels scurried across the barren, sludgy land through babul trees and thorny shrubs, people on top of it screamed and the person in charge of the camels tried to catch up with the camels. What a jolly good chase that might have been! Exciting!

A widespread and very inspiring quality that the people posted/deployed at the border posses is optimism and they are always beaming with pride and patriotism. A feeling which surpasses all. An indescribable emotion of serving the country and the satisfaction derived from the fact that their contribution matters. Delightful!

The whole party finally reached the unit. They were served with dinner, drinks and a gala time. Tents were pitched. Everything looked quite stable for a while when everyone was served by a second shower of rain. Though it brought down temperatures and it made everything pleasant, the humans were not the only ones enjoying the cool wave. Scorpions, Scorpions everywhere! Scorpions started trickling out in huge numbers and that caused a lot of inconvenience since everyone was supposed to sleep in tents. The huge move of the unit was the very next day. So, the whole unit started to pack and the group started their journey back to Naliya in the morning. As fate would have it, their gypsy broke down leaving them stranded in the middle of nowhere. Unexplored, detached from human civilisation and disconnected would describe the place they were stuck in. When the unit reached Naliya and the group still had not reached, it put the people there in a nervous wreck. Everyone knew about the risk involved. The group didn’t lose hope and left the gypsy and walked till they found a little village of nomads. Here’s the thing about these villagers that I liked, they engaged the group with great admiration when they came to know they were from armed forces. They spoke a gujrati-sindhi dialect hence my father was able to converse with them. A car passing by helped repair the gypsy and off they went.

My mom recollects it to be one of the cleanest villages she has ever seen till date. The humble yet progressive nature of the people from gujrat is commendable. I shouldn’t say this, but it really pains to see the people of some states being hostile towards the very power responsible for their safety and wellbeing. I wouldn’t name the state. This blog is way too young to take on political stuff, anyways entertainment is way cooler.

P.S Tropo is basically a mobile communication unit and BOP stands for Border Observatory Post

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Something New, Uncategorized

Christmas Anecdotes

 
Carols, cookies, chocolate, cake, the giving spirit and mistletoe usually sums up
Christmas. There has been more and we’ve been on the receiving end of it. This post is
going to be about how far the people of the armed forces go to ensure that their families
(especially kids) don’t go untouched by the festive spirit no matter where they are posted
(whether it’s the gulf of Kutchch or J&K ). So here it is how we celebrate Christmas:
Celebrations usually start with the CAROL PRACTICE. Your mom will always push you
down that road no matter how bad your vocals are. You’ll team up with all others of the
 
same fate and sing. Sing till you can. ” Now bring us some figgy pudding……” Sing till
someone gives you some “figgy” pudding.
The next part, MIA (Mom’s intelligence agency) gathers more intel about other
performances on the Christmas party. Then you get another push “so and so’s children
(mostly daughters) are doing such and such performance!  You better get your act
together too and perform something”. So most of us pick our most presentable form of
talent possible and practice for the final day.
Then the ultimate day arrives, full of children gearing up for participation in the various
dance/fashion shows/fancy dress/singing, the whole lot. Performances executed and
cheered; now it’s the children’s turn to be on the receiving end of the entertainment
scene.
Magic shows and Tattoo artists are very common since they are such a hit with the little
ones. After these, it’s Santa time and here it always gets real interesting. Let me quote a
few instances,
Santa Claus will always be played some jolly officer but it’s the sleigh which is so varying
that it’s unpredictable and hence interesting.
 
Instances
#1 Fire truck
Booming the fire alarms and Santa throwing toffees from the top of the truck.
 
#2 Yellow school bus
I remember this being a lot of fun too.
 
#3 Skydiver Santa
This one turned out to be a farce, but still a lot of fun owing to the anticipation related to
Santa been flung out in the air and landing in front of you in a parachute. Here’s what
 
 
really happened: We all are looking up waiting, turns out some Russians(dressed in red )
were practicing skydiving and the officer playing Santa was hiding in a van near the
landing. So some little kid spots Santa in the van and the kids rush towards him.
Hiding time over Santa, Now give us the gifts.
 
#4 Santa via Helicopter
It was the last helicopter sortie of the day. Santa had boarded the helicopter, the plan
being getting down at the mess where the party was on. Now as the helicopter started its
descent to land at the mess lawns, all the tents started to fly away and the people
frantically waved their hands in order to send back the helicopter. So, the helicopter
retreated and landed somewhere else and Santa again came by the fire brigade truck.
True story.
The next part is of course is food and the Christmas cake, followed by encouragement by all the parents for the performances of the children. The Gala ends here but something else continues.
 
 
The nurturing feeling
Defense people make sure their kids aren’t deprived of a family,at all times. The unit becomes

one big family providing the warmth and comfort to make you feel right at home.Its funny how the support of some people affects you so much and helps you strive anywhere with optimism and happiness.
 
 
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Something New

Defense Terms and Clichés

This blog post is mostly going to be about some terms and particular things associated to the defense forces which normally no one would know about  (All in good humour , of course 😀 )

ANTE room

This room has by far been the most forbidden room to every defense kid at every station. As I grew up, my curiosity increased as to what mysteries and myriad treasures lay in that room.

expectation

The mystery was revealed one day and it turned out to be a normal hall with a pretty fancy interior decoration and showpieces (reason why kids weren’t allowed) .A hall in the Officer’s mess which was used only for high profile parties (parties where kids were not allowed …  ) .

Christmas Party

Pretty Ob what it means. Reason I included this is A LOT of memories of my childhood and subsequent years are associated with it  🙂 🙂

And the significance to the defense kid : A party exclusively for children , Cultural Programmes  (by kids) ,food , magic shows ,games ,a ride in  SANTA’s sleigh (…which was AWESOME)  A post coming up on the same 😀 😀

SODA

Senior Officer’s Daughter’s Association

Yeah. The name says it all: Smart, Bubbly, Gorgeous and Intelligent Defense girls . No more description required.

Bachelors are the most fun people

Bachelors are mostly those who just joined the force (young officers) .They’ll play sports with you, entertain you, dance with you at parties and also let you in their rooms to play games on their laptops . My brother agrees .So do a lot of others  😀 😀 .  They are energetic and very nice people.

Veg Dip /Peanut Chaat 

A characteristic appetizer at almost all the parties which you can never get bored of! Probably due to the mayonnaise 😀

vegdip

Packers And Movers

Also we kids are trained as packers and movers  😀 as we grow up. We’re better than most professionals when it comes to this. Be it from one station to another or be it temporary accommodation to the status house, we pack and move all the time.

On a more serious note,

Defense life teaches you accommodativeness and adaptability of the highest order. Personal experience has taken me to stations with faulty electricity, dust storms, with no general public around for miles, a confinement after 7:30pm, elephants etc. People learn to live with it and get the best out of it however bleak or  the situation maybe.Utmost patriotism and undying optimism is what I’d use to describe my dad and all the people he works with. I’ve seen the glint in their eyes which says ” I would do everything I can and more for this country” , ah!!  the selfless shine which I wish( everyday )even one of our today’s politicians had.

Our country has reached a stage where the credibility of our government is exponentially going down day by day. The people are fed up , exhausted and have started to question the ways of the government and demanded explanations for the blatant misuse of the tax-payer’s money.  So as a friend remarked, I need to give an ending to each post.  This would be my way , “

Dear taxpayers ,

I have no idea about anything else but when it comes to defense , I assure you , you wouldn’t be disappointed. EVER. As far as I have seen, they are the most reliable and selfless people possible.

Thanks for reading.

P.S If you have a defense related story to share with all of us , send me 😀 email id is given in the widget on top

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