NDAend of term2


Originally posted on 16/07/2010 :


We all enjoyed ourselves at the Academy. The pictures which I have of that period tell the tale better than the best words which any of us can write. But I suspect, we did not know it when we were living in Khadakvasla or Dehradun. I do not remember any one of us wanting to repeat a term, for the joy of staying there a bit longer!

In today’s mail, I am attaching two pictures. These were taken in June 1960, when the XVIII course was all set to ‘pass out’ At the end of the term, there used to be two events; a squadron social and “ragging’ of seniors by the junior cadets. It was a sort of a ‘return gift’ in which the juniors got an opportunity to get even with those who had tormented them during their stay. There is a story associated with each of the pictures, and for those who have time, I record it here.

The picture of the social was taken from a considerable distance. Those days, one had to make three settings on the camera : focus, aperture and time. And these settings depended on the ‘speed’ of the film which was mentioned on the roll. I estimated that even with the fastest film, I would need to give a time of a few seconds to get the desired result. So a ‘make shift’ stand was created and we took several pictures. Fortunately for us, one of them came out tolerably well. If you have a picture manger, just play around with the ‘brightness’ and ‘contrast’ and you will be able to see people standing near the Squadron building. The flood light on the ‘stage’ which we had erected is clearly visible.
Immediately after the social, the passing out course used to change into the punishment rig and get ready for their ‘punishment. In the picture below, you see Kultar (Arty, later a Brig Cdr of an Inf Brigade) preparing to get into the right posture, while MPS Bhandari (later DG Artillery) is receiving the blows. The fifth term cadets used to ‘supervise’ the proceedings to ensure that no one crossed the ‘Laxman rekha’ For this picture, I think we managed to get a flash bulb.
The ‘beating’ and rebuke which the passing out cadets received depended on their behavior and conduct. “Bulshitters” were thrashed with great vengeance, while ‘gentlemen’ got away lightly. In an extreme case, a Sergeant Major (who later rose to be a general) had aroused such strong passions that a junior cadet threw a bicycle on him from the balcony of the top floor. Fortunately, he missed his’target’ and the CSM escaped unhurt.

My younger brother Brig Surinder says that a similar phenomenon occurs at the Regimental re-unions. Veterans receive the treatment which they deserve. The serving officers give them back what they got from them. Those who were a pain in the neck are either slighted or simply ignored. I am told some of our senior officers are worse than that: they are a pain all over the body. People just turn their face away when they accost them. Surinder says there is no heaven and no hell. You get it all here, while you are still alive. The wages of sin have to be paid here,on the earth itself. At the NDA, we learnt this lesson, quite early in life. Saint Kabir said,

“Karta tha so kyon kiya, ab kar kyoN pachhtaye?
Boya ped babool ka, aam kahaN se khaye ??


  1. Virinder Singh says:

    Thank you Sir

  2. Amarjit Singh Behl says:


  3. Aman Brar says:

    Dear masad….nice pics…..
    nothing had changed at least in my terms in NDA…it was just the same…the last day and the social evening was the most painful day of the 6th term….but then a person like me who considered bullshitting and manhandling a virtue could not stay like a cow in the acadeny and that too in lima sqd. so you can guess what must have been my state before the social……i hope the things dont change and the new kids on the block dont just graduate with a comp science degree….i still remember a board on the trishul that said….THE ONLY PERMANENT THING IN LIFE IS CHANGE…..i hope in the case of the academy this is not true……regards….lookin fwd to mom and dad arriving on sunday….


  4. Hemi Bhagat says:

    I dont think we ,as the First course got any ragging in NDA ,but this ragging was evident in the Military wing ,now IMA.Her one CSM was beaten up with pillow slips stuffed with boots ,so badly that he could barely stand the next day for the parade.(there was no supervision in those days,which I think is fare.

  5. Vinay Malhotra says:

    Respected Sir,
    Thanks a ton for the nostalgic series started by you.
    It is really a great feeling reliving those golden days.
    I think it’s time for me to acquire a scanner and start digitizing my treasure of memories.

    Vinay Malhotra

  6. J Thomas says:

    Thanks. Ragging of senior cadets was worse than ragging of juniors

  7. Bajaj says:

    Amazing really!

    I have been eating Aam all along without boya-ing babool

    or doing anything worthwhile.

    Can you explain that??

    • Surjit says:


      I think you know the answer Or perhaps you do not. And perhaps there is no answer. Either way, there is a contradiction.

      I think if some one uses contraceptives or remains a bachelor all through his life, the problem will be solved completely. the only way to get out of the whole thing is

      “Problem ko jad se nikaal kar phenk do”

      Now, have you understood? If you have, do please let me know. Because I have not understood it. When I was studying in the IIT Delhi, a professor told us,

      “Kabhie kabhie yooN bhi hamneN apneN jee ko bahlaya hai (Capital N is silent. It adds a

      Jin baatoN ko khud nahiN samjhe, auroN ko samjhaaya hai” nasal sound to the word)

      Love. My motto in life is, “When in doubt, turn to Urdu poetry. You will find the answers!


      • Bajaj says:

        Sages have rightly said that at an age (generally after 60) when such queries intrigue your mind

        it is time for the third stage Vana Prastha Ashram. You and I ought to be in the woods meditating

        and eating kand mool.

        And please name one problem jisko jad se nikaal phenka ho aurdobaara panap na hui ho.

        Kabbie na kabie vo kisi aur haal ya roop main panape gee.

        Energy is indestructible in whatever it may exist in.

        Answers mostly lie in our Vedas and Upnisads and nobody reads those.

        Urdu poetry is a great palliative.



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