It was an important milestone for Gentleman Cadet Jerrin Koduvath who passed out from OTA Chennai on 07 March 2020. The entire Koduvath family were there at the Parameshwaran Drill Square to witness the occasion and bless Jerrin on the auspicious moment of him stepping into being an Officer in 56 Engineer Regiment of Indian Army.
The Drill Square was smartly decked up befitting the ceremony with all military ornamentation. The most conspicuous was the seating area for guests to witness the parade. The witnessing area was covered with hydraulically operated awnings extending forward towards the Drill Square. Under the covered space were rows of permanently fitted comfortable seats and under the awnings were four rows of removable chairs. A bottle of mineral water was placed on all seats and that was really worth and refreshing. The ceiling fans ensured a constant movement of air to ward off the Chennai heat and high humidity.
We were 24 family members and all of us ensured that we were at the Drill Square by 5 AM so as to get the seats that offered the best view of the proceedings.
Admiral Karambir Singh, PVSM, AVSM, ADC, reviewed the Parade.
The Cadets marched with precision at the Parameshwaran Drill Square and the proud parents and relatives of the Officer Cadets and dignitaries witnessed the mesmerising parade. 136 Gentleman Cadets and 31 Lady Cadets along with eight Gentleman Cadets and three Lady Cadets from friendly countries were commissioned as Officers following completion of vigorous training at the Passing Out Parade.
At the Parade, it was a pleasant surprise for me to meet Veteran Major General PK Ramachandran and Mrs Hema Ramachandran. General Ramachandran commanded 75 Medium Regiment at Sikkim and Ambala.
After the Parade, we had a sumptuous breakfast at the Cadets’ Mess and then we moved to Pratap Pipping Lawns for the Pipping Ceremony. Pratap Pipping Lawns too had excellent seating arrangements facilitating everyone a clear view of the proceedings.
Late Captain Pratap Sing, MVC (P), and I grew up as Lieutenants together at 75 Medium Regiment (Basantar River) from 1983 to 1988. In May 1988 he attained martyrdom at Siachen Glacier. Hence, I was emotionally charged, with my heart thumping, to be at this place, to pip Lieutenant Jerrin Kodvath. More about Captain Pratap, please click here.
On culmination of all ceremonies, I walked to the Jessami Company living area where a bust of Captain Pratap had been installed by his OTA course-mates. While training as a Gentleman Cadet at OTA, Captain Pratap was in Jessami Company. It was a bit disheartening to note that the bust had no resemblance to Captain Pratap. May be, I would have been among a few who interacted with him closely during his last days in Indian Army.
The Commandant OTA, Officers and staff need to be complimented for exceptional organisational skills and administrative arrangements for conducting such a Parade and all other connected ceremonies. Everything was as fit as a T.
After the ceremonies got over, a grand tea was hosted for us at the residence of Major Subhash Chander of 75 Medium Regiment, now posted as Instructor at OTA and his wife Preeti. We, the Koduvath Family stand indebted to Major Subhash and Preeti in extending all-out support and guidance to us for attending all the events connected with the POP and making us extremely comfortable.
With gratitude we the Koduvath Family thank all the staff of Trident Hotel, Chennai for ensuring a comfortable stay for us for three days during the celebrations. Special thanks to Sudharshan Iyer who recommended Trident Hotel and Varun Sharma, Trident Hotels for coordinating all arrangements for us.