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.


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

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
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.
#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.


For those of you who might be wondering what I mean by a “defense kid”, here’s an explanation:

Anyone (mostly children of people working in the defense forces) who is indirectly affected by the proceedings (campus life, parties, gatherings etc the whole lot!) of the armed forces .Through this blog I’d like to bring about glimpses of a life which is common to a lot of people in this country .A life which we’re very proud of and lucky to have .A life which we would love to reminisce and share.

Ever since my birth I have traveled the length and breadth of this country by virtue of my father being in the armed forces. Every 2 to 3 years we have to move to a new place , meet new people and discover new horizons . Positively put, it can be a lot of fun. But then leaving familiar faces behind is never an easy task . Leaving a place where your life was going steady and your mind was content is pretty difficult .And as a part of growing up every “defense kid” goes through a feeling where he or she doesn’t want anything in their life to change, often forgetting the very process which got them into that situation was the same which is going to take it all away.

I’ve always been a “defense kid”, new to a life where things don’t change as often ever since I got admitted to BITS Pilani-KK Birla Goa Campus as a student of Computer Science. The dilemma arose when I thought to myself which life would I rather have: this one or the earlier one. Have I grown past it? Would I still enjoy it as much as I did in the early years of my life? Well my questions were answered ….Read on for more  😀 😀

Feedback is always appreciated since am  new to this form of expression  🙂

And Everything’s in good humor of course  🙂  ! Have Fun !