Saturday, October 24, 2009

Unexplained Bonds!!

Some bonds run deeper.They are inexplicable just like the other gamut of emotions that keep on surging inside.What is it that ties us in the Battalion together?What makes this bond grow stronger with each passing day?Why is my 19-20 year old jawan ready to die on my orders?Why do the veteran soldiers(with 20-25 years battlefield experience)obey my command unflinchingly and without any iota of doubt?What makes him follow me through rain,hail,snow or storm without even a murmur of discontent?What makes him offer me his scarce water even when both of us are equally tired?What drives him to help me share my problems with him without even asking me to listen to his?Why does he impose so much faith in my orders even when I'm not sure of the outcome while giving them?Inspite of all the heroics he's done and never been rewarded,irrespective of the fact that he could not be with his ailing mother on her deathbed or see the face of his newborn for months together,he's ready to jump into a hail of enemy machine gun fire - Just because I ordered him to do so...???He's not my blood relative neither my friend,but will still take a bullet for me in the chest.

Every night before I sleep I ask Lord to make me worthy of the men I serve,worthy of their loyalty and devotion to duty,their ever willingness and ready laughter,their great humility,that asks so little and gives me so much,so readily without complaint.Grant their simple wishes Lord and bless them please,for in this world no better soldiers breathe than the men under me!!

P.S maybe i'm getting a li'l too emotional but what the heck!! Could it be coz I"m moving to a hostile & sensitive location soon?....I for one have no answers!!!!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Behind the scenes!!!

Tats my work station....!!

Tats wat I'm actually doing!!!


Now that 2009 is towards its fag end I’ve been remenescing about the year gone by. Some facts the ‘Viper’ feels should be known to his friends,followers,well wishers and probable gf’s! *wink*


5. Completing my commando course and coming out of “HELL”(refer to my previous blog – The Commando chronicles) to see the light of civilization again.

4. Cheering for Barcelona and spraying Man U fans with beer during UEFA Champions League finals.

3. Getting sloshed and waking up the next day with faint memories of the previous night.

2. Watching ‘How I met your Mother’ over and over again till my laptop crashed.

1. Hear Katherine Heigl say ‘COCK’ in The Ugly Truth.


5. Have a truce with my cousin sisters.

4. Getting front row seats in a strip club.

3. That would mean going to Vegas!

2. Making out with Sarah Palin & Carla Bruni……… the same time!! *sigh*

1. Residing close to TOTO’s (my fav watering hole in recent times).


5. Parul Kapoor – my friends ex who dumped him unceremoniously.
(@Karan…..take solace from the fact that she’s #5. If you still didn’t have that soft spot for her buddy she cud’ve moved up a couple of notches.)

4. Hugh Hefner - For sleeping with every hot busty babe in sight. Yeah….yeah I’m a sore loser!!

3. Mohammed Ajmal Amir Kasab – Need I say more??

2. Impotent politicians who refused to give the Army the green signal post 26/11.


P.S Keeping in view how grouchy I’ve been turning since the past few days….this list is expected to grow longer!!!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Trauma's of Not being a BoyFriend!!

I've heard a lot of cliches about stereotypical boy-girl behaviour.Experiencing them first hand experience in itself!

I've tried (that would be a very subtle word) to impress girls. I've gone out of my way to help them so that they can realise and possibly recognise my coexistence on this planet. I mean,come on,haven't we all tried a li'l hard to impress that cutie(boy/girl)in school, college, train, bus, church, restaurant? Well, I claim to be different but unfortunately I dont enjoy opera's, like gardening or play the guitar( I own one though) short...I'm an average search of his Miss Right(I prefer Miss Right over a Miss Perfect).

I've been in & out of crushes during which I'm a total gibbering idiot(and that
absolutely doesnt go with my tough Army guy image). Growing up on a staple diet of romantic movies like Casablanca , Wedding Singer ,When Harry met Sally, Serendipity & the likes I expected to bump into my soulmate in a coffee shop, a bus journey, a book exhibition or the local pub. But this never happened. Well not one to be outdone by the quirks of fate I decided to manipulate my way into a relationship. Before boarding the train I would scan the reservation list for F20, F22, F25..... , in a coffee shop I would read Salman Rushdie(not that I dont read Salman Rushdie, but reading it in a coffee shop while sipping cappuccino seemed cool at that time) , would go for an early morning jog wearing a Rbk short,Adidas Tees,Nike shoes & Puma socks rather than my normal track lower & simple Tees. Well...well...well...,all that branded clothing,pseudo intellectual looks and sophisticated vocabulary failed to impress even a single girl in sight.

Dragging my already battered & bruised ego I went back to being normal - the real unevolved ME! And imagine my delight when I actually started making female friends, who liked hanging out with me. I developed a crush on one such female acquantaince(name witheld coz she has real high heeled sandals). We gelled and got along really well. Things were going fine until I told her I had this huge crush on her. Imagine my disappointment when she confided in a common friend(who later gossiped this to me),"He's a nice guy to hang around with...but he's not boyfriend material!" Not a 'boyfriend material?' What the hell is that supposed to mean? Is it that she wanted a 'non-friend' as a boyfriend? But arent we
all more compatible with a friend than with a stranger? Did she think I was gay?

I'm 23,still single and strongly convinced that I'm gonna end up single(largely due to the fact that women havent shown interest in me for the past 23 years and will not in the next 23 too).But till then, I'll be trying to 'gather' these "boyfriend like qualities"
I never give up, do I??..till then adios!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

½ boy ½ man

The average age of the army man is 19 years.
He is a short haired, tight muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father’s, but he has never collected unemployment dole either.

He’s a recent college graduate; he was probably an average student from one of the Kendriya Vidyalayas, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old Maruti, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or country or gazals or swing, and a 155mm howitzer.

He is 5 or 7 kilos lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting the insurgents or standing guard on the icy Himalayas from before dawn to well after dusk or he is at Mumbai engaging the terrorists. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.
He can march until he is told to stop, or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity.
His pride and self-respect, he does not lack.
He is self sufficient.
He has two sets of combat dress: he washes one and wears the other.
He keeps his water bottle full and feet dry.
He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

If you’re thirsty, he’ll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He’ll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

He has learned to use his hands as weapons and weapons like they were his hands.
He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.
He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, & still find ironic humor in it all.
He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.
He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.
He feels every note of the jana gana mana vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to ‘square-away’ those around him who haven’t bothered to stand, remove their hands from their pockets, or even stop talking.

In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather and Great-grandfather,
He is paying the price for our freedom.

Beardless or not, he is not a boy.
He is our nations Fighting Man that kept this country free and defended your right to Freedom. He has experienced deprivation and adversity, and has seen his buddies falling to bullets and maimed and blown.
He has asked nothing in return, except our acknowledgement of his existence and understanding of his human needs.
Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.
And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to war when our nation calls us to do so.

As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot. . ..
A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I know this post is not in sync with my other happy-go-lucky posts but I had to put this here....I've been hurt today....betrayed by my own friend....
I've been stabbed a thousand times over today and left to bleed....
sounds morbid and doesnt make interesting read but hell ya....I'm not here to entertain people...!!!

P.S ...just gimme a few days and I'll be back to my awesumness again!!!(provided I get time, what, with my super awesum time management skills)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Karan Chronicles!!!

Its funny how alcohol works as a stress buster and a truth serum all at the same time.Some time back when I was in Pune, I received a call from Karan - another equally(if not more) hopeless romantic and a quintessential loser in matters of the heart. A li'l insight into Karan would read something like this - An otherwise normal guy leading a normal life.Life would have been smooth and a bump free ride had he not fallen for a girl-sorry-goddess,named Parul. The girl was way
beyond his league.How way?....way-way! It was a mystery how she had fallen for this dork in the first place.But that is beyond the discussion now.Everyone makes mistakes & everyone realises them sooner or later.Even Parul realised it & left Karan to marry a rich hoteliar.
AWWWWW!!poor guy!!(hahahahahaha-wicked laughter).

Anyways Karan was coming over to my place & in his typical lame Barney-way he exclaimed,"This is gonna be legen--wait for it--dary, yeah legendary!" I knew it right then, that,this was gonna be just like any other evening - getting sloshed to the hilt & passing out someplace between the door and the bed. We went to Kiva lounge - a nice place in Kirkee,Pune. Little did we know then that the place was a hotbed for cupid-struck couples. The ambience was amazingly romantic with only candles flickering on every table. Good music playing in the backdrop added
to it.

With only couples donning every table in sight we felt like couple of gays walking through the door. Not one to be bogged down by societal norms,Karan persuaded me to take the table. With 180ml of his fav spirit in his blood stream he started loosening up(not that he was uptight before). The loud banter,staring right through me with eyes wide open,the constant demand for hi-five's,spilling of food on the table & the clumsy holding of the cutlery were all indicators
'alcohol taking over senses' syndrome. Yet another quarter down, and the series of phone calls started making their rounds. Old crushes, ex-gf's, would be gf's, probable gf's, friends's gf's - almost every girl possible was called. All this while I was looking at the adjacent tables,watching the couples canoodling and coochie-cooing. Truthfully,I was feeling jealous. With such an amazing ambience,great food,alcohol & good music I was stuck with a modern day Devdas to spend my evening. Well, I decided to play my role as Chunni to perfection that evening!

With another round of drinks down our throats I did the unthinkable - I mentioned Parul(wicked me). Karan went berserk after that. What followed next can best be described in two words - 'Vengeance Drinkin!' Then came the lull in the battle - a point wherein your blood reaches alcohol saturation point. I went out to get some fresh air & away from those (by now very irritatingly) love struck couples. I returned back to find my friend sitting at a humanly impossible angle on the chair with his chin dropping to the ground. I realised that the guy was sloshed beyond repair."You have seen enough action soldier!",I remarked and helped him to his
feet. We started our weary journey back. By that time even my speech was slurred and vision blurred. But still, I was the better of the two. As we were walking through the door I noticed Karan wearing a sweatshirt. He definitely was not wearing one when we came. Or was he? The alcohol had definitely frozen my senses and wiped out the memory chip in my brain.We went home & crashed onto our beds.

The next morning,as always,was full of headaches,giddy feelings and uneasiness.I wriggled out of bed and my eyes darted to the sweatshirt hanging."Nice sweatshirt", I mentioned hoping to elicit some kinda response. All I got was a half drunk-half puzzled look from Karan. "Please dont tell me that's not your's",I remarked. "NO!It isnt." "WTF!...who's is it then?"
"I dont know",he mentioned. Till date we have no idea how that sweatshirt landed up on Karan.
To make matters worse it smelled of some girly perfume.
Karan's conclusion - It belonged to a girl - his soulmate maybe!
My conclusion - Belonged to an apparently very gay guy who "made merry" while I was away and maybe left a souvenier.
Whatever it was, Karan still clings on to that piece of clothing at night, all the time dreaming(read fantasising) about his "soulmate" he nearly brushed into on that fateful evening in Pune.

P.S - Some facts from the real incident have been left out on purpose by the writer.Penning them down here would probably mean the end of the civilised road for Karan. So, I'll keep them a secret - for the time being,that is!!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Just another day in 'PARADISE'!!

I just finished a book - 'Ofcourse I Love you.....till I find someone better' by Durjoy Datt and Manvi Ahuja. Nothing spectacular about the book but there has been an attempt to portray the gen X and their wild lifestyles. Totally a mediocre book....definitely not in the league of 'Five point someone'. The protagonist and his friends(both male & female) are some kind of sex raging machines hunting down one prey after another. Reading it made me conscious of my own inability
(read opportunity) to indulge in such promiscous behaviour. The protagonist almost
gets laid wherever he goes. it that easy? Or is this just another attempt by IIT/IIM grads to derive sadistic pleasure by describing explicit details of my generations sexual escapades(also known as sexcapades) so that guys like me who arent so cool or who dont indulge in promiscuity are pushed to the edge of an unending pit of inferiority complex.

Another totally pointless thing in my life happening at around this time is the phone talk I have with a girl I dont even like. These late night phone convo's started as harmless flirting but we ended up talkin mush recently.Things started taking an ugly turn when in a drunken stupor I started getting thoughts of committing to her(Gasp!).Just when I was gonna call her I received
a msg which read 'Wassup?'. This was the breaking point - the quirk of fate! For the past fortnight whenever she wanted me to call (which was generally at late nights)this was the msg she sent.My msg inbox was flooded with only this word from the past fortnight. I mean, come on....
cant you get just a bit original...
a li'l bit creative in atleast initiating the conv.
My drunken stupor was immediately broken(a dumb girls msg works as an antidote to these drunken fits of romance). I switched my phone off and went to sleep with a smile on my face. After all, it is not everyday that one has such narrow escapes.

Just the other day, me & a junior decided to go for a movie - 'Love Aaj kal'. At the very last minute the junior was called for something much more important(read girlfriend). So now I was stuck with two tickets for a movie which seemed mushy. Another friend and his gf were coming for the same show. So I asked him to get another female for the movie. Wat started out as a request ended up with me pleading,convincing and finally asking him to get somebody.He flatly
refused. Sheesh! much for friendship.So I finally watched three hours of Saif-Deepika intimacy and their antics, all ALONE!..I swear I could've switched on my phone and blared the song "Lonely.....I am soo lonely" right in the middle of the theatre. To add to my misery I could hear(I preferred not to watch) girls giggling as their bf's acted 'naughty'. I could hear whispering and I imagined that they all were laughing at me sitting all alone(with my bike helmet resting on the vacant seat). Were they??....I'm not sure....the movie was strictly average(since I couldnt relate to any part - neither the falling in love part nor the falling
out of love part). 'Hangover' seen the previous night was much better since I could relate to it(minus the strippers ofcourse).....well...born in the wrong country it seems...huh??

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Amnesia - a la Gajini!

Blame it on the long runs in the morning,lack of interesting women around(and I say this with all due respect to all the women coz everyone is interesting in their own way),boozing binges or just lack of expresso in the dysfuctional brain refuses to be creative. Add to this sullen brain, a lazy body(having gained 7 kgs in one month) and what you will get is ME. That's exactly how I've been feeling for the past two months. I havent put up anything here for ages(and nobody much for blogging) considering a lot of uninteresting,unimportant and worthless events have happened during that time. I dont know how long this purple patch will last....but my thoughts have been revolving around a lot of other things(sex,girls and booze are not one of them). Lets hope I get back to writing my thoughts down in sum semblance of order soon. Till then *sob* .... wait!!!
P.S ...and I'm not GAY just coz I'm careful about my weight!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Who wudnt fall in love with this cutie???

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

This sweetheart here makes me go weak in my knees....cant wait to meet him
Is this wat they call "falling in love' feels like???

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Daughters have a special bond with their dads. Mothers are left seething out of the equation, and later suitors suffer because they can never measure upto the first man in a girl’s life. This was the credo, reaffirmed by all of us who have either glowed or seen their sisters glow in this unabashedly biased relationship. This was until today morning. Glancing at the paper over my morning coffee I chanced to see the gruesome details of a girl from Mira road,Mumbai being raped by her own father for 9 agonisingly long years. The monster of Mira rd had shattered the idyll. It’s difficult to think of a worse betrayal. The blood of every father’s daughter must run cold to read about the 21 year old who had been continually raped for nine years. A father as perpetrator, a mother as accessory, and a so-called godman not only calling the shots, but pumping in his own dirty bullets as well. How many idols were smashed in that burgeoning outpost of Mumbai suburbia? Everything supposedly sacred was defiled. It’s difficult to think of a worse perversion.

Every daughter who has snuggled into her father, charmed him into submission, had him indulge her every whim to her own delight and her mother’s disapproval, must surely have followed this story in disbelief. The Mira rd incest is not an aberration. It happens everywhere, all the time, as routine as water cuts in summer. Too often, ‘family’ is not the benign unit of protective Mama-Papa and loving uncle-ji, but a whitewashed sepulchre of poisoned innocence. To the curios in the showcase add the skeletons in the closet. Alas, not dead, but jumping out to paw, grope and molest. On a regular basis. The difference at Mira rd was only one of degree, motivation, and the fact that the pustule burst open. This happened only because it reached new depths. When her 15 year old sister was also dragged into this pit, the long suffering girl found the tremulous courage to inform her maternal uncle and her grandmother. So, add one more dimension to this perverse roster. We must be thankful for the doubled evil because that’s what finally led to the end of the sordid tale. And for the small mercy that the girl’s appeal did not typically cite ‘family honour’ to slam the lid back on what was its demonic opposite.

Child sexual abuse by a family member; most often the father himself, extends from the pavement to the penthouse, leaving no economic, educational or ethnic group unstained. It sits there masked in normalcy, like a porn covered in innocent brown paper of a school exercise textbook, like a festively wrapped mithai box swarming with maggots inside. The statistics may be conjecture, but they certainly aren’t damning lies. I had read somewhere that an act of domestic sexual abuse takes place every 7 mins. In this depraved milieu, we must be grateful for the 6 mins of security. And we, who as children had considered our unmolested cocoon to be the unremarkable rule, must now fall on our knees for the blessing of exception. When the parental protector turns predator, every other violation pales by comparision, arguably even turns kosher. The father raped his elder daughter for nine years and, inured, felt no shame in pulling the younger daughter into the sex vortex.

The mother emotionally blackmailed them into submitting not only to him, but also to the instigating tantric. To be fair, she threw herself into the hissing cauldron as well. The parents abandoned their most sublime duty for the sake of mere crass reward. The ‘godman’ had convinced them that this was the divinely ordained route to the father’s business success. The silence of the lambs of Mira rd is deafening. But the current empty din of electoral invective is unlikely to pause and listen. I had read about the German father who kept his daughter in the attic for 20 odd years and even bore two children from her. Back then, I never would have believed something like this happening closer home. Don’t we boast of ancient culture and rich heritage? I guess, these “Monster Dads” thrive everywhere irrespective of geographical, cultural or social differences.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Hailing from a metro has its cons! You are expected to be a city slicker who’s sophisticated, socially presentable & with a gift of the gab. Then you meet the other kind – ME!! Of the last 23 years of my stay in the city I’m pretty much an oddball & a social misfit there. I hate the fake accents, the oh-so-glamorous lifestyles & the hustle bustle of the city. Then again, there’s the constant – “Ohh!!...staying in Mumbai and still single?” They just cant comprehend the fact that I’m single. Yes I am, at 23. Is it a crime? Go ahead then, send me to the gallows.

I’ve grown up on a staple diet of movies like – When Harry met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, Gone with the wind & Casablanca(before you brand me the mushy-kind, just for the records, I even watched the usual violence filled sci-fi movies). Believe me, the ‘damsel in distress’ species has ceased to exist and so has the ‘knight in shining armour’. The damsels have been replaced by the mascara covered, eyeliner lined females who bitch, gossip & shop. The knight’s armour has been replaced by the wallet & credit cards. So there are the ‘damsels in mascara’ & ‘Knights with fat wallets’. There’s no place for the third kind.

So, when you end up surrounded by Roadies-loving, alcohol binging 20 something’s(whom you refer to as friends), I feel like a 60 year old grandpa who’s just lost his way from the old age home. And then there’s the flurry of fake accents & flying kisses exchanged to add to my already bag full of worries. Its almost become a habit for me to turn up at a party in a formal shirt & neatly creased trousers(not to mention the inexplicably shiny leather shoes). Then I look around and I’m greeted by the ‘barely hanging of the waist’ jeans, the technicolour shirts & T shirts and a mix & match of what seems like leftover frills from last years Brazil carnival.

Then comes the hair part. I always loved the crew cut ‘coz it left me with less time with the comb. Now I have guy friends who take longer than an hour to get the hair straight – or at odd angles, should I say. I cease to understand the connectivity between a persons hair & his attitude. Does looking like a cross between a human and a porcupine cool? Then, there are the females who are just not content with the hair colour nature endowed them with. I had heard of blondes and brunettes, but streaks of blue, yellow and purple rising from your temples are not something I would be comfortable with.

Another startling revelation hit me hard a couple of months back. A half drunk friend blurted out that his girlfriend thinks I’m gay. Comically I quizzed him for the same. His reply – since I’m still single I ought to be gay! I was stumped! Is it taboo to be single in Mumbai? There is a desperate rush to pick and choose a gf/bf even if that meant ‘Crash & Burn’ a couple of months then on(in some cases a couple of weeks).And God forbid if you are single and a virgin. You risk being labeled gay or impotent. Virginity is no longer the flower that girls & guys alike, preserve for their ‘special someone’. Promiscuity is the ‘in’ thing & losing virginity at the earliest, the craze. Well, I have been sentenced on two charges so far – single and a virgin, and have been found guilty on both accounts. Is this something I should be proud of? Well, my friends think otherwise.

Well I may be running the risk of being labeled a moralistic tightass after this post, but who cares. The phenomena of true love might just exist. After all, hope is what keeps us all alive, isn’t it?

Friday, March 13, 2009


After nearly five years of conspicuous confidence, the UPA govt’s focus on gloom and doom in the year ahead looks debatable. Five years ago, voters rejected the idea of “India Shining”, ushering in a govt that pronmised outcomes as well as a happy balance between high economic growth and social development. Now within kissing distance of yet another general election, it must be asked : has the “dream team” – P Chidambaram and Manmohan Singh really delivered on its promise of equitable development and good governance. I will broadly be covering my views under the following heads –
1. Social & economic sectors.
2. The defence sector.

Social and Economic sectors

India is foing through a most exciting transition. A confluence of good fortune on many fronts has created a range of opportunities for Indians to benefit from. There is a large and constantly increasing section of population of working age combined with low dependency. The monssons haven’t failed for many years running. An ongoing electronic comn and IT revolution is making it possible for individuals, firms & countries to respond rapidly to changing circumstances. Then there is the recognition internationally that India is an important market to invest in, export to and import from. And since the govt had started a process of openness a decade and a half back, many of the markets that were missing in the pre 1991 era are working efficiently enough. Given such conditions, how has this govt been?

Well, quite good on maintenance – and extremely poor on preparing, repairing and creating. As ‘inheritors’ of the “India shining” glory, the UPA govt did a great job of maintaining the sheen. The budget was (atleast initially) kept somewhat in check, macro economic mgmt was decent and minor tinkering continued. Partly because of decent maintenance, India continued to sparkle – tax revenues were looking up like never before, investment spiraled like never before, and it seemed everyone in the world wanted to be in India.

But did the govt build great infrastructure beyond what was already in motion? Did it provide relief for the highly strained environment? Did it do something about meeting the educated manpower shortage – and tackling the poor quality of education in govy schools and other institutions? It did none of this. Instead it set the stage such that all governments will have to give hundreds of thousands of crores in schemes that will not build anything of lasting consequence. Preparing for the future requires building infrastructure. The rural roads scheme was started during the NDA regime – an indubitable fact, for it was not named Rajiv or Indira or Jawaharlal. E-governance remained paper bound. Indian educational institutions cannot hire international faculty – and our doctoral pgmes are in a shambles.

On the environmental front, water levels continued to fall, we continue to discharge tonnes of sewage into our rivers and keepon building coal plants while natural gas lies unused. This govt talked a lot, high minded commissions were set up and provided very well thought out recommendations. But in the end, the govt did zilch. This society and its people need more than just assurances and money consuming programmes. It needs results and the statistics say the story. How is it that such a phenomenally talented group achieve so little? I for one have no answers.


The one million strong Indian Army needs change. And I’m not just referring to the equipment allotted. With the constantly changing war scenario and the fluid geo-political role India plays in the sub continent in particular and Asia in general, the Indian Army is in desperate need of a makeover which involves men, material and mindset. The govt has done little to empower the Defence forces with high quality weapons and equipment. We still continue to buy WW II vintage weapons from our “ally” – Russia. This govt did nothing to improve the situation. Millions of rupees were spent on setting up committee’s and enquiries into the security lapses the country witnessed with bombings in almost all parts of the country. Had that money been utilised to arm the jawans, the casualties could have been reduced.

Another grey area the govt failed miserably to tackle was Naxalism. It continued to breed in the backyards of those very politicians who assured us safety and well being during their political rallies. To add to the woes of the Army, the govt further explored the option of sending in the Army to fight off Naxalism. Already faced with a crunch of officers and few willing to step into the shoes of the aeging veterans, this came as a big setback. Still, it remains to be seen whether this option will be used in sctuals. My heart says, wisdom will prevail.

With volatile neighbours, the Indian Army has been stretched from the length and breadth of the country. The govt tried to lure the young generation by offering the Sixth Pay Commission in general and the MSP in particular. It failed to create a flutter in the college campuses. The serving jawans, NCO’s and JCO’s got a raw deal in the process. The increments did not commensurate to the professional hazard they faced. Discontent amongst the ranks and JCO’s prevails as they go about their job.

The govt yet again showed ‘spineless-ness’ when it failed to retaliate to the terror attacks in Mumbai. The political will was clearly lacking and resignations by the Home minister and Defence minister were dished out. But did it solve the problem? No it didn’t. The ‘economic meltdown’ and ‘international pressure’ were some of the reasons cited by the govt for not pursuing a military action. My question to the ‘wise men’ – Is there ever a perfect time to attack?

Had the same incident occurred in Israel, the outcome would have been more aggressive. Accepted the fact that military action meant bloodshed and economic pressure, but, then aren’t these the situations wherein the ‘sovereignty’ of the state has been attacked? If this isn’t then I’m not sure why we are still stuck up on Kashmir. We might as well gift wrap it and save ourselves some money and lives in the process.

The judiciary was mocked first, then ravaged and ransacked by the pseudo ‘human rights’ activists who defended Afzal Guru. The govt yet again took a backseat and failed to controlthe situation. Result- yet more disappointment for the Indian Army , police and other agencies involved in safe guarding the nation

The moderates(read govt) may view my opinions as illogical, unreasonable and chronic to the overall well being of the nation. My answer to them – If blood has to be shed, then why not let it flow on the battlefield rather than on the streets of Mumbai, Jaipur or Ahmedabad. If difficulties have to be borne then let it be through a war and not because of the constant terror strikes, bandhs and regional divides. But then, this Cong led UPA govt lacked the political will to take such tough decisions lest it affects their vote bank the next time. Isnt it time we realized the folly of our submissive attitude or is another terror strike on Mumbai required to wake the govt from their deep slumber. Food for thought – ‘coz I for one have no answers!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Commando chronicles!!

It was all over….finished!!After a long ordeal of 44 days(not to mention the excruciatingly longer nights).Days which were filled with grime,dust,sweat(no dearth of that in commando school) and third degree torture. A detailed account of what goes on inside the “school”(also popularly known as Hell in Army parlance) may not be feasible due to the extreme nature of the training and the incapability of the comman man to come to terms with it.But here’s an effort to pen down a li’l of what goes on inside the “Hell”…….

Sunlight drifted through the half open window of the train window as I saw Belgaum station nearing. Involuntarily my heartbeat quickened(yeah…u can call me chicken hearted…but I’m being honest about it). We were frisked away like sum hardcore prisoners from the station itself. Our ranks,pips and medals were the first to go, followed closely by our hair. Wat followed next can best be left to the imagination of the reader. Our rooms were just meant for keeping of the luggage and not for us. The bed in the room was the least utilized amongst the other furniture. Sleep was unheard of in “Hell” and walking was a rare privilege. Food & water were rare commodities and we had to “earn” them(all the commandos will best understand this term of ‘earning’).

Another thing which has long made its impact on us is the “Khooni Nala”.For the uninitiated and the ignorant, it is a sewage tank. I’ll again leave the reader to do the imagining. We were frequent visitors to this not-so-hygienic place, so much so that, we forgot the count after the first 20 times. By the 15th day of our course we had all turned into sleep deprived blood sucking zombies. Our brain’s had long ceased to think rationally and commands were obeyed without an inkling of doubt(even if that meant breaking a few ribs in the process).

But amidst all this gut wrenching training and mind numbing punishments our only solace were the memories of our loved ones back home and the pride of our Battalions who had nominated us to do this course. A lucky few amongst us who had girlfriends took out time to call them up whenever they could and returned afresh for the next session of training. For the rest of us….we just conjured up images of bikini clad babes in Goa(which all of us had planned on visiting on termination of the course). They say, the character of a man is best determined during the worst of conditions. I experienced that in “Hell”….

But I’m happy that we completed the course with some minor bruises and some amount of brain damage(a la Gajini style).Now I’m a proud commando ready to take on the bad guys.I have no fear,no remorse or pity ‘coz as rightly said….