Originally posted on 21 July 2010 :

What we see on the TV is depressing. The newspapers show pictures which are even more gloomy. One feels like running away from India  or go into an ‘asharam’ in Hrishikesh or Varanasi. It is quite evident that we are not prepared. Our facilities are no where near international standards and the tax payers’ money has been criminally splurged. The infrastructure is even worse.  At various venues, we have restrooms in which the wash basins have taps marked “H” and “C” but water does not come out of either one of them. Indeed, if you are a male, you are well advised to go to the nearest wall and join the others if the pressure in your bladder exceeds the limit of tolerance. If you go into the door marked ‘gentlemen’ the stench may nauseate you.

I asked an astrologer to answer the following questions:

Will the CEO of the CWG cancel the games? Will the venue for some events be shifted outside India, as was done for the cricket world cup? Will some events be cancelled or postponed? Will we, as a Nation, have to hang our head in shame at the end of the games? I will tell you what he said at the end of this missive. But first permit me to recount my experience with Passing Out Parades at the Academy and the Regimental Re-unions which I have had the privilege to organize and attend during the last six decades. The first parade which I saw was in the IMA in 1949. The Fourth regular course was passing out, and our father was an instructor in the Academy. Three days before the D-day they had  a rehearsal, in which everything went wrong. The next day, there was an improvement and on the final day aaalll was well. There after I saw all parades  in Dehradun up to  Dec 1952. Then I joined the National Defence Academy in  January 1958. And I saw the cycle repeat itself. RSM Ayeling had left but Sub Maj Bora, who took his place was no less. We went through the cycle of ‘shock’ recovery and finesse term after term. And then I got commissioned. Our Corps held re-unions once every five or six years. The sequence repeated itself in the same order.  Just a few days before the event, we were made to believe that NOTHING was right. The venues were ill prepared, the facilities were shocking and we were headed for disaster. And then came the final day. The moment the guests arrived, every thing fell in its place. In the beginning I used to wonder what made the difference. But now, when I am approaching seventy I think I know.

 ”On the final day, colorfully dressed young ladies appear as spectators. And that makes all the difference!”

At the NDA I observed that during the rehearsals, cadets fainted and fell on the drill square. I asked a senior cadet, that if such a thing happened on the final day, how would we remove the  sick cadet from the ground. And he said, “Don’t be silly. On the final parade,NO one faints !” The name of the Cadet who told me this is Brig AS Yadav (CSM Easy Squadron  XVII course) And he was  dead right! Now here is a prediction. The CEO of the Games will keep saying what he has said. The press will keep showing pictures of  the poorly prepared stadiums. The opposition parties will cry foul. But the show will go on. And in the end, there will be a few lone voices, asking the government to punish some organizers. Some heads will roll, but that is a part of the game. A few talented sportsmen will be ‘discovered’ and we will have afresh crop of celebrities flaunting their ‘gold’ medals which are actually made of silver and plated with six grams of gold. And they will act as an inspiration for many young men and women to go and sweat it out.

Here is what the astrologer told me : At the end of the day Aaaalll will be well!


Today, in June 2012, as I look back, my prediction came true. The Games were a great success. India won a lot of medals, though some people paid the price for their misdeeds.

  1. Satyadev Gupta says:

    Thanks a lot enlightening me the facts of the present. We should not runaway to ashram but fight for how to overcome such situation

  2. Narinder Sapra says:

    Dear Gen,

    You are absolutely rigth that in the end everything will be done well. and it will be a world class event.

    Though we could have done better and money spent better. Presently roads are full of pot holes, plant saplings even though quite matured plants were planted need a lot of tending and a miracle to fully bloom.

    Wish civil bureacracy was as efficient then folks in army and had planned better. Rains is no excuse as defeat in war can have no excuses. Monsoons come every year.


    Brig sapra

  3. Aman Brar says:

    Dear Massard..
    .good morning…
    u have some truth there…i have no idea weather we have bitten more than what we can chew this time….trust me it is a diffrent ball game this time over….i have the unenviable experience of having been part of being in ground zero for organising the military world games… olympic games for the militaries the world over…..the experience was harroing however we had clear directions and with military danda behind us things happened amazingly….world class facilities which we cld never dream of ….drills worked as well oiled rifles and everything a resounding sucess….not to miss the undeserving get a number of medals….but the fact of the matter is that all that happened because of solid danda…..and no corruption….i apppreciate the optimism that you hold but this time around we need more than the stupid song sung by that overrated singer a r rehman for a painful 5 crores….yeh to haal hai sarkaar ka. i suggest you take the first flight out of india for blanking yourself from this national shame….regards

  4. Talat Zamir says:

    This is called POSITIVE THINKING — It was such a pleasure reading your email which actually should be titled ASHA KI KIRAN .I am sure aaall will definitely be WELL –Inshallah .

  5. Manjit Singh says:

    Well done Surjit!

    Hail you incorrigible OPTIMIST.I agree with you totally.

  6. Ata Hasnain says:

    Superb piece indeed. However, I missed the inevitable Ghalib couplet.

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