This video is a great tribute to our soldiers and is worth watching, especially on the Valentine’s day. Do not be surprised, it has come from Malabar Gold, a jewellery chain in Kerala. The animation is excellent with apt scripting. It depicts how a senior army officer would advice a young officer in a situation like this. It celebrates the bonding and bonhomie among officers of the Indian Army. In fact, it is a real motivational video.
After watching this TV commercial, I reminisced about my Commanding Officer days in 2002. Our Regiment was deployed in Rajasthan sector for operations since January. After I took over command in June, I realised most young officers, especially the newly married ones had not been home to look up their wives. Leave for everyone in the army was curtailed and could only be sanctioned in extreme emergencies only.
After taking over command, I had to travel to Devlali, our permanent peacetime location, to carryout documentation procedures. I was accorded permission by our higher Headquarters to move out of the sector for a week. I took this opportunity, rather misinterpreted the orders knowingly, to take our two young Captains with me as my staff officers – Adjutant and Quartermaster – to facilitate various documentation.
We three booked our tickets to travel by train from Jodhpur – Captain Subhash to Devlali as his wife was stationed there and Captain Mitra to Ahmadabad, Gujarat, which fell enroute. Mrs Mitra was living with her parents there. I was booked for Devlali as Marina had by then migrated to Canada.
The train was scheduled to stop at Ahmadabad by daybreak. Subhash called up Mrs Mitra instructing her to prepare breakfast for the Commanding Officer and him and carry it along. He also did not forget to add an advisory note that the Commanding Officer was a connoisseur of good food and so it got to be good.
Half an hour before the train was to pull into Ahmadabad Station, Mitra woke us up with a cup of hot tea and with the best smile he could portray. That was when the ‘devil‘ in me worked overtime. I asked Mitra to step out of the train – not on to the platform side, but to the opposite side. Subhash was to meet Mrs Mitra at the platform and break the ‘sad‘ news that the leave of Mitra was cancelled by the Commanding Officer on the eleventh hour due to unforeseen operational requirements. I was to walk in then to meet Mrs Mitra for the first time.
After the train came to a halt everything proceeded as planned. She was waiting on the platform next to our coach with her dad, all smiling and eager to meet her husband who was away for the past six months. The moment Subhash broke the ‘sad’ news, I walked in to meet them. I could now see the dark clouds of sadness layering over her smiling face. Rather it was as if the arc light bright face now had a fused bulb look. Her father was comforting her by reasoning out that her husband is on an important national duty and would be with her shortly.
I apologised to her that I had to cancel Mitra’s leave and he would be sent on leave home surely after two months. Mrs Mitra was surely not hearing me – she gave a dazzled blank look. Subhash now grabbed the breakfast hamper from her saying “He has not come, but we can have the breakfast. Haven’t you brought it for us?”
The train blew its whistle to indicate that it was leaving the station. We thanked them and got into the train and stood in the doorway, waving goodbye.
Wishing all the couples Happy Valentine Day.
Falling in love is like looking at the stars. If you pick one among the billions and stare at it long enough all the others will melt away.