Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Impressive - NDA experience

I went to the National Defence Academy today at Khadakwasla.. For the uninformed, this is a place just outside of Pune set amidst hills and rough forest terrain.. Established just after independence as a centre to train people of the three defence forces (the army, airforce and the navy), it has an area of about 8000 acres and more land around it is available.. 8000 acres is huge.. Real Huge!!!!

I had gone for the passing out parade of the cadets of the 110th course ( a course refers to the cadets who are taken in every term and NDA has two intakes every year, june and jan). Very nicely organised and impressive parade, I must say.. Admiral Arun Prakash, who is the chief of the naval staff, was the reviewing officer and spoke at the function.

Also had time to have a look around the academy, their sports fields, their various battalion buildings and squadron rooms.. They have buildings which have been named after the state which donated funds to build these structures. The main building and the most impressive was the Sudan building, which housed the Chemistry lab and the workshop of some kind.. Named thus because money was given by Sudan as an expression of gratitude because India helped Sudan in some defence related operation. Also other squadron buildings are named after states, I remember seeing Punjab, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan etc..

During the parade, the highlight was the handover of the president's ( who is the supreme commander of the defence forces) flag to the passing out batch. Everyone had to stand and pay respect while the officers in uniform saluted. Amazing feeling.. Gives you a sense of pride, to be there, among so many people, who have done something/ going to do something for our nation, looking at the spirit of the guys there and the elation later. Another highlight was what is termed in NDA parlance as ' anthim patth' or in layman's terms, the last passage. Passage is a very rough translation and it effectively means that its the last step a cadet takes before passing out of the NDA. This is right below a hugt mast, taken from the INS Vikrant or some other naval warship around 50 years ago. This mast has two flags, one being the academy flag and the other being the Indian tricolour. These cadets who walk and take the anthim patth have to salute the mast and then take the last step.. And then , FREEDOM!!! For a month atleast.

The celebrations that followed were in keeping with true Armed Forces tradition, throwing up their caps and dancing around. Each squadron celebrated separately and, the joy was evident on their faces. Three years of a tough grinding routine had finally come to an end..

And for Me, standing there, amidst such people, was a moment which I would cherish for ever..


PS : - Pictures when I get back to Chennai :)


Arvind said...

Khadakwasla....thanks for the free trip :D.
Surely one of the places to be for u feel proud and give u a sense of pride as an Indian !

Jai Hind :)

varalaxmi said...

I can quiet understand the feeling of pride b'cos my uncle is a colonel in the army and I've been to the wellington training quarters when he was a major.Moreover have also seen him in office during his stint in the north-east fighting the maoists.The Indian Army is truly sensational.

moonlight said...

hi...had read Manjiri's Musings on 29th.may'06( relating to the same altho perhaps she was there for the dress rehearsals..nevertheless, being there was the point.
like to read any article relating to activities of the defence forces. thank you for the first hand info.

hamzeenee said...

"PS : - Pictures when I get back to Chennai :)"

Where?Where?Soshy,you liyaaar!XP

me said...

so..why the trip??? Just to see the parade??

Abhi! said...

I dont know what to reply since you are in the same room right now :P

Yeah, Indian army, actually defence forces rock !!!

Abhi! said...

moonlight :

My pleasure. was a lot of fun !!

Abhi! said...

wait wait. patience is a virtue

general vacation. parade too

S said...

my cuz worked at the NDA - he would go on and on and on about it!!

oh..the cuz is the aero fellow - at NASA now!!! :))