Mama I don’t want to go to office today was the first thing that came to my mind as the alarm rang this morning. I was feeling uncomfortable, miserable and down. The feeling was the same when after the term break one had to go for the first muster. I remember we used to count DLTGH, cutting away, smudging those dates in our diaries, on our tables, inside our drawers, behind every note book of which ever subject we had. It used to be a dilemma that should I cut today’s date tomorrow morning or should I cut it today itself. On the way back to NDA one got that kind of eerie feeling which I had while going to office today. Never in my life have I felt so home sick. We used to dread to get to NDA especially in those “faded OG” TATA busses. How we used to rush to get a seat on the newer type ones. That feeling which used to come moment Khadakwasla used to come in sight was the feeling that came afresh after ages. I want to start striking off dates for the next one today onwards, hopefully on a cruise. I shall be there with my wife and daughter for sure.
Friends, I took an additional day leave after coming here as the hangover of the dose of friendship, camaraderie, bonhomie, fellowship, association, love and bonding we shared was still fresh in my brains. The laughter which roared from every group if calculated in terms of energy released could have flown the “Tejas” to Pakistan, decimated it and come back. If we packed the good vibrations of that cheer in forms of bombs and attach them to Sukoi’s we could devastate our enemies with a force greater than the nuclear bombs which fell on Japan. The atmosphere was so strong in positive energy that words cannot fathom. I was falling short of words because I did not want the event to end. I know what the organisers would have gone through weaving such an experience for us. Notwithstanding the pressure on them and the nitty-gritty’s being meticulously looked into. The man who took the onus to organise it deserves a grand kudos. All that followed was the true espirit-de-corps of being part of the great course called 66. A grand salute to every course mate who attended and his family for enriching our lives. At least 10 years have been added for sure.
It was first time in my life that I was claimed by two squadrons equally in this get together. When I was told to leave Charlie squadron ages back, my heart weighed a ton but could not help it. India Squadron became my second home thanks to my course mates. I remember the way I was welcomed in India Squadron. It was evening tea time; the hustle and bustle was at its peak as the cadets were reporting back from term break. Appointments were already in, so were people like me who were on restrictions, plus there were some like “Kathpalia” who had come for GCI. Cabin allotted to me was on the ante-room side facing the parade ground. His cabin was the corner cabin in line as the bathroom. I was walking with my mug of tea into my cabin when I heard, hey you! I gave a dirty look and went inside. As I was about sip my tea in that red plastic mug there was a fanatic knock on the door. You bloody Bas***d, didn’t you hear me, wake me up at 4.30 tomorrow morning. I opened the door; I was in my gown and nothing else underneath. You Fu***r don’t you know me, as I opened the cabin door. I said no I don’t and go and hop for all I care. His rage and fury knew no bounds, come outside and start rolling you son of a glitch. I shut the door again and sat down to have my tea. By then due to the commotion CQ and CSM landed up and told him, yaar he is a fifth not a second termer and mind you he has been sent here after being duly marched up to COM for the charge of manhandling. Kathpalia made me his pal instantly and offered to wake me up whenever it was convenient to me. I lived in peace ever after.
Well, nostalgia creeps all over me as I have yet to come to terms that the get together is over. Thank you my dear organisers, you all were fantabulus. My wife and daughter are still in no mood to either cook or go to school. The new friends we made and the charming ladies I met cannot be cupped together in two palms like one does to water. ACA of the ladies kind must remember that I am a discipline case, so, not easy to control and handle but cheers to her effort. As she was listing out suggestions for improvements for the next bash at the airport, the only suggestion which came to my mind was that the horses should smell better, Johnny is witness to that. Narpat don’t mind as this is on the lighter side, because with the amount of food, snacks and liquid we ate and drank, we could only blame our smelly farts on the horses and muffled the musical farty notes in different octaves under the roar of the tornado’s.
My sincere thanks to each person behind the scenes, the bands, the working parties, the drivers, the cooks, waiters and maslachi’s, the house keepers’ et al. Though we the RSI kinds were separated by locations but were united in the spirit of 66. Jaws still hurt, eyes get moistened both by the thought of the laughter we shared and the ache of separating from the bonds we made. So my friends let me say Au revoir, Dasvidaniya, sayonara, till we meet again. We have to meet again. Cheers friends and “girl friends”, hipipip hurray 66.
© Noel Ellis