Saturday, December 19, 2015

Day 2 at the NDA.

My body clock had wakened me up at 0430h, but since there was nothing much to do I stayed in bed for a while. Vasu and Sujatha, our next door neighbours, couldn't sleep through the night because of bed bugs! We could actually hear them talk all through the night and had wondered as to what the hell was happening!!

By 6, I was out of the squadron for my walk and took the route to the Ashoka pillar, down the Presidency Drive and back - a total distance of 31/2 kms through the still dark morning and a nippy air. Felt totally refreshed and seeing me - or were they the regular morning walkers? - a few others had also ventured out.

Breakfast at the Cadets' Mess was a grand affair as usual and by 0930h, we'd set off to the Hut of Remembrance for paying homage to the departed course mates. It's a solemn ceremony that was pregnant with the gravity of the situation along with the attendant pomp and grandeur. Prabal Malakar made an appropriate and short speech, sitting on his wheel chair.

We'd then proceeded to the Habibullah Hall for speeches welcoming the '49ers' - as the 49th course calls themselves now - and the 49ers thanking the Academy for hosting us. It was, then, the time for the customary group photograph against the backdrop of the iconic Sudan Block, followed by the Squadron photographs - Hunter is represented by Shekhar Murthy, Prakash Vishwe, self, CD Sharma and Daljeet Singh Chopra(Vishwe and Ceedee being stag!) The cold coffee and snacks on the lawns reminded me of the passing out parade high tea! Cheema, made an eye catching exit in a naval chopper after circling the Sudan Block dome as he'd official duties to perform, back in Bombay.

The movie, 'The Cradle for Leadership' made during our II term was screened, for our sake, recalling those days of its filming. Though badly mutilated due to vintage, it was still worth watching.

Lunch was at the Peacock bay and Lekha had gone for boating with the others while we got to tanking up chilled beer. The Academy darshan, followed by a brief foray into our respective squadrons, saw us pass the afternoon without a nap. Lekha'd, however, decided to stay back for catching her forty winks.

The evening was at the Officers' Institute, beside the swimming pool with a band in attendance and many of us did shake a leg to the music that was on offer. In the aftermath of dinner, Damien John did force me into making a short speech as I happened to be sitting on the high table by default! I'd insisted on Prabal being given a standing ovation, yet again, for directing this extravaganza from his wheel chair!


We're too exhausted by the time we returned to the squadron but the revelry did continue.  


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