Saturday, February 23, 2019


by Uttam Gill (writer), BOMBAY(MUMBAI), September 11, 2015

It is about the young men, who were in Officers Training School Madras(Chennai)...and the memories

Time alienates us from the past and the memories take a back seat, I never felt that before, till I received the news of death of one of our course mate. He was the one, who toiled with us during pre-commission training at OTS Madras in 1981. Life does behave as we expect but it surely entraps us in uncompromising terms with a question that how can so easily we forget our own buddies. If life sucks, it still couldn’t hold the indomitable bonds and connection of the ones who shared their grief at the available forum by which they could convey their condolences.
My Dear Friends, few of us with the initiative of Capt Ian Kerr attended the Bhog Ceremony of Our course mate Col Devinder Singh from 1 Horse. As we poured in, I wondered over the strange mix of happenings of life. On 13th March, 1982, young men with an average age of 21-22 years in their starched olive green uniform, were so full of life …We all parted to embrace new phase of life…And now out of that lot, few of us assembled in that congregation to pay last homage to our brother officer.
How can we forget our Passing Out Parade (POP)…At the tune of Colonel Bogey, we marched past the saluting base and with the Auld Lang Sync tune, in slow march we left the tarmac of drill square of OTS, once forever, and with no inkling, that thereafter life wouldn’t be the same. We had no clue about the reality of life, that how it would claim its victims. And from that lot of young men, who passed out 33 years back truly and harshly life took away from us many of our buddies. Yes…they are left for heavenly abode…
Many of us parted to never meet again…With passage of time we drifted and once in a while we get to know how our buddies doing in life…We accepted the news of good happening with cheers and sad news always left us in state of shock..dismayingly we accepted the fact…As the news of death pours in about untimely demise of our dear course mates, the entire memories comes back with the bedlam of questionable occurrences…how this could happen…just not ready to believe, that one of us is gone…We all question and silently too pray for the departed soul to rest in peace.
Tonight, when I fall back to my place and rest my head on to the pillow, from the oblivion, Drill Square comes back alive to me…sound of the marching boots…yelling of the instructors…”Come on GCs (Gentlemen Cadets)…chin up…chest out… look straight...don’t move…you have come here to be an officer…don’t walk like a pregnant duck…get up you lousy “shammer”…you bloody sissy…”…Fall In,Fall out,Attention,Stand Still or Don't Move,Stand at ease … Dress-Righ, Dress-Left,Shoulder Arms…And many more…. Oh! I can hear all that, I am back into the folds of OTS..Tonight let me relive those moments…yes they are all with me…I can hear a loud crunching sound of a 13 hobnail-studded soles of our ammunition boots…

Yes, Once upon a time, there were young men, who were in OTS (Officers Training School)Madras(Chennai)…

Amidst crunching sound of ammunition boot, let me sleep tonight with memories of my OTS days…

-Uttam Gill

About the Writer

Uttam Gill is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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2 comments on ONCE UPON A TIME

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By riginal on September 11, 2015 at 09:11 am

Once- upon- a- time bitter sweet eh Uttam? And you turned out pretty damn good bud despite the regimentation...or because of it? :>)

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By Barbara MacDonald on September 11, 2015 at 10:54 am

This is the one part of getting older that I am not liking...too many people who I still carry in my heart, have traveled to their final resting place. My Condolences Uttam

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