Pearls Getogether

Kheterpal auditorium it was. In 1987, on 13 June,  IMA witnessed yet another passing out parade. Gentlemen Cadets of 80 Regular and 63 Tech having crossed the antim step, gathered in the auditorium. I remember that the hall was full of joy and aspirations. The whole energy was ecstatic. Parents and siblings stood by the would be Heroes. As the ceremony wound up the GC’s metamorphosis into an Officer was complete. As I watched the chairs on entering the auditorium, I saw that the GCs had only greyed a bit. The GC in them was still kicking strong. Sitting besides were better halves and sons and daughters, watching their hubby and father enter childhood again.

As I watched the awesome painting of Khetrapal, I could feel the flowering of deep down inside emotions. The ‘little boy’ stared into my eyes and was saying that ‘deeds alone matter, nothing else matters.’

Our own Field Marshal lit the fire in the hall as we watched the movie and my God, the old man had some Aura. His whole persona seemed to get out of the screen and enter each heart. Yes, he is right when he says that while everything can change one thing does not change – our task and duty.

The sandwiches and plum cakes set the ball rolling as GCs started meeting each other. However,  this time the kids and wives were introduced first. It’s such a nice feeling. To be back with your family and going through the full length timeline of training years with your family. Wow!

Time stood still as we lined up for paying our tribute and homage  to the fallen brothers. As each one marched up the sacred steps and pathway, I was filled with a sense of pride and again realised that it’s the Armed Forces alone who know how to honour their loved ones. Many from amongst us were not there. They had bid farewell to life. However, each petal of the Roses at the memorial,  stood tall with its fragrance spreading wide and far – In life or after life. It’s an honour code.

The next round was the visit to the Chetwood and museum. Needless to say, only a GCs heart can understand the meaning of the drill square which made us into New Age Transformers.

The grandstanding that is often associated with Def Forces is probably sourced to this Drill Square tarmac. All that we become is mirrored in the timeless reflections of this august Square.

What is special about this picture is not that it’s another group picture of GCs. It’s sacred and refreshing because it is laced with the kids and wives of officers. It is through them that we grow  from moment to moment. It’s through their immense sacrifices that we are motivated to go on and on. It’s this what makes us unique and special. This beautiful family wali feeling. It’s a treasure we own with pride.

What marked the high point of the getogether was the grace and love that weaved the pearls together. The organisers gave birth to an idea. The energy stayed with us all through. For  two and half days time encapsulated memories of a million stories. Shared once again across  the bar or with the kids and wives. Perhaps,  the best analogy came from a Coursemate’s wife when she said,  ‘it seems that they are again mothers. Only this time the kid is different.’

Well,  it’s all etched in blood and sweat memories. The Pearls came together to create a new Magic. A mystical RV with timelessness.

# Duty  # Honour  # Country


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