Milestone Fifty!


The Editor’s Foreword

It is said that ‘Time Flies like an Arrow’.  This proverb implies that time travels at a very high speed, and also that it can move only in one direction: forward. Therefore, just as the arrow cannot return to the bow, yesterday can never come back. As for the speed, I notice that this is relative, as Einstein has observed. The forty minutes on the drill square took an eternity to pass, especially if you were on an extra-drill awarded to you for a trivial offence. Yet, one day, you suddenly discover that half a century has gone by since the day you joined the Academy! 

It has now become customary to celebrate the golden jubilee of joining the great institution in Kharakwasla. Air Cmdre Ashok Chhibber has sent us his account of the re-union of the  31st NDA course, in the form of a poem which is recorded between pictures, but stands out, since it is in a different colour. I have added four pictures pulled out of my album, taken in 1960. They contain two pictures taken at night which won a prize. It was not easy to capture such scenes with those primitive cameras. And then, there is a picture taken through a broken window. A great storm in Aug 1960 blew away the window, along with its frame, and since this was on a cabin on the top floor, it presented a scary scene. I was in my sixth term, and went to meet the unfortunate occupant of that room. I asked him whether he felt scared when his window blew away, and the brave young second termer replied, most nonchalantly,  “Not at all, Sir. I was quite sure that the bed bugs would hold me secure to the cot!” And the fourth picture shows Joseph Thomas with Chaudhary of Able Squadron. And at the end of the piece, Thomas has inserted links to a few clips. Those who have the time and the inclination may view them at their leisure.

Now over to Ashok.



Milestone Fifty!

By Air Commodore Ashok Chhibber, AVSM

(An Ode to the Course by ADC)




It was early January Nineteen Sixty Four,  


group photo

When youngsters ninescore and a few more,
Set forth to a place “Poona se thoda hi fasla”



NDA Khadak

 A place called NDA at Khadakwasla



We were the cadets of the Thirty First Course


Full of “josh”, abounding happiness, and no remorse;



 group pic


Jan the Fourth, the training commenced, Within

the Academy precincts all un-fenced. They

trained us in classrooms and the outdoors,

Studying, running, and at times, on all fours

From the Sudan Block to the Lone Tree Hill,

Everything was on the Government’s bill.

Front rolls, FSMO and Chindit order, rig changer

Made us bond together most unlike total strangers;




Drill square, PT, games and extensive studies,





building at night









Turned us all in to lifelong buddies How  time flew no one knows, of course,


As we trifurcated into Army, Navy and the Air Force





Later we retired from the Service we had chosen,



Memories lingered and in our minds firmly frozen.


At Pune now we met again in December twenty sixteen



 NDA 31 course



When we chatted about then, now and the days in-between

Friends came from lands far and near

To relive our days that we hold so dear












Some guys and ladies have moved to their celestial abode



Their memories from our minds we shall never erode



Now, as we drank, danced, sang and had a time so fine Our Milestone Fifty ended to the tunes of Auld Lang Syne Auld Lang Syne 


( And, HEY Even if it sounds too early or silly, Let’s vow to meet again for the Diamond Jubilee)

























Some Links to Clips Depicting the NDA

After reading the poem composed by Ashok Chhibber and seeing the above pictures, it is possible that some of us, specially the NDA guys may like to view some ‘glimpses’ of the Academy. For their benefit, we have picked up the links to a few clips from the archives. For those who have the time, and the inclination to see them, the links are given below: 

Auld Lang Syne (NDA POP)

Dipti Harwani hosting the NDA Ball Autumn term


NDA India sqn reunion 79


NDA-Academy Ki Yaadein


NDA rocks


NDA Ball




  1. Satish Bhandari says:

    Thanks Real Life Reading was wonderful


  2. Dave Sood says:

    Surjit ..great to see the site.

    A valiant effort.

    From first nineteenth sounded OK. Right now i am sure it is in hundreds.

    The foundation was very strong. We have come a long way.


    Dave Sood

    Best Regards,

    Dave Sood

    Managing Director


    D-57 Chattarpur Enclave,

    New Delhi, India 110074

    +91 98100 37663

  3. Harikumar Krishnannair says:

    Thank you Sir for sharing..

  4. Anil Sunita says:

    Very well brought out.

  5. SBS Kochar says:

    nostalgic and refreshing.

  6. moru kelkar says:

    Thanks. Yes it was a reminder of das gone by

  7. KS Virk says:

    Thanks. I thoroughly enjoyed going through your post.

  8. zal kabraji says:

    My Dear General,
    These are golden memories of days we not going to see again !
    Thanks as always for sharing them.
    Fond regards,
    Zal Kabraji.

  9. colls says:

    With LOVE
    from Canada
    SMS only
    12 Jun 2017

  10. colls says:

    Dearest General Surjit ji,


    ” You bring tears of nostalgia
    in my eyes
    in a moment they destroyed
    My stiff neck
    as I was asked to front roll.

    Their kindness
    till today
    I have no

    But am proud to be
    CSM of SQN
    Disciplined and Drilled many like me
    AND you know it.
    How EASY !!!

    My best colleagues
    rather cadets
    then may be 15 or sixteen…
    till today are

    you know him
    Tippy our honoured…. CHIEF AIR MARSHAL CAF
    Sudhir Mathur

    Each rep of ARMY… NAVY AND AIR FORCE
    ”OUR NDA” 15TH //1959

    And yours truly
    a NDA


    Germination… Aspiration… Inspiration then Elimination
    none can shun..can anyone!
    My bows to the

  11. Brig Surinder Singh says:

    These cadets joined me as new GCs in IMA.They were yet to reconcile to their fall in status from sixth termers to new GCs but had to go through the rigour nevertheless. Barring three, I cannot recollect the others because the names are not there in the pictures other than that of the SSB.

    We passed out together from IMA and are preparing for our golden jubilee there in Dec.


  12. Manjit Singh says:

    This post has touched my heart !
    I felt so moved by some of the pictures.
    I wish you all … ALL THE BEST !

  13. Surjit Singh says:

    This is a journey down memory lane. It has special significance for the ex-NDA officers. As per my estimate, the total number of such officers is over 35,000. It is possible that many more buddies may like to share their experiences, and send us pictures from their albums.
    Thanks for your effort, specially the poem.

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