Colonel Sandeep Dhawan

When I opened my Whatsapp this morning, I was in for a shock; a most unexpected one.  It was the untimely demise of Colonel Sandeep Dhawan due to Covid. May God give the family courage and fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.

Colonel Sandeep Dhawan was commissioned into 17 GRENADIERS on 24 Dec 1982, and commanded  battalion in the same regiment from 2002 to 2005. He also served a brief stint with 9n. He had served as a Staff Officer with the  Military Operations Directorate, Army Headquarters.  He was also an Instructor at Infantry School, Mhow and a United Nations Military Observer in Rwanda (UNAMIR) from 1995-96. He was Team leader of Indian Army Training Teams, Lesotho (Africa). He married  Anshu in May 1990 and has two daughters, Akarshita and Nikita.

13651, Koduvath Reji, this is Sandeep, H/61,” was the salutary call I received three months back. I wasn’t surprised by Sandeep’s ability to recall all our National Defence Academy (NDA) identity numbers, even after 33 years.  He was a proud father calling me about his daughter Nikita’s application to University of Toronto for a PhD in machine learning.

I assured Sandeep all support from our end and answered many a query about Nikita’s stay in Toronto, including the financial aspects.  We discussed all options threadbare. Sandeep had done his homework well and was a man who went into every little aspect. I promised him a ‘firm base’ at our home for Nikita, where she can walk in freely, and also my availability 24/7 as I am often at home. This was the usual and expected support I always ensure to extend to all our coursemates, military friends and their children.

We  had three more tele-conversations, all about Nikita and her stay here in Canada. I researched her professor and told Sandeep he was a tough nut to crack, though I was unimpressed by his student evaluations.

In one such conversation, Sandeep recommended the book ‘Angela’s Ashes.’  I promptly ordered it and was delivered to me last evening by Amazon.  I never realised what was in store for me!!!!!

We had planned to meet up at Toronto this fall when he came to drop off Nikita.  All this time, I had no idea he would be saying goodbye to us so soon.  Rest In Peace Buddy.

10 thoughts on “Colonel Sandeep Dhawan

  1. Very sad to hear that. We were good friends and did talk occasionally… We did our ADP advance course in MCTE Mhow.
    God bless his soul. Will miss you buddy.

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  2. Very very sad and untimely demise for a veteran. He couldn’t see Nikita making her career in Toronto, his unfulfilled dream. May his soul rest in peace

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Reji, news of Col Sandeep Dhawan’s passing was a bolt from the blue.

    Like you said, he would always prefix my NDA number to my name whenever we spoke. His NDA number was either next or previous.

    He had created a terrific terrace garden at home for growing vegetables and we regularly discussed various aspects of terrace gardening.

    We were friends since NDA and I will miss him. Sandeep, rest in peace buddy.

    Om Shanti.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Such devastating news, Reji…….I met Sandeep as a young Lt when he came to Dhrangadhra to attend a cadre and we hit it off well (one possible reason was that his father was a gunner). We met up again in JC. He was so impressive – extremely clear-headed, amazingly articulate and exceptionally focussed! I still remember his orders during one of the exercises to be the best ever that I’ve listened on various courses. Adding further lustre to his professional persona was his handwriting – printed string of pearls! When my van was stolen and later recovered on the campus of AWC, he graciously offered his garage for safe-keeping till the end of the course. It was with enormous reluctance that I did his papers when he decided to quit the service, for personal reasons. It’s such a terrible loss! RIP, Sandeep

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reji good tribute to departed course mate. Sad loss . We did DSSC49 together and also neighbors in Wellington. We commanded our units in Jaisalmer , Barmer areas together. Sad loss. 

    Liked by 1 person

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