Ever since I stepped in to a military school, I have been hearing about NDA. I became so obsessive with it that a visit to NDA had found its place on to my bucket list. So, when my husband asked me if I would love to watch the Passing Out Parade of the Cadets in this esteemed academy, I went mad with joy.
NDA, or National Defence Academy, located near Khadakwasala, Pune is a Joint Service Academy where the cadets of the three services,, Army, Navy and Air Force are trained before they go for their pre-commissioning training to their respective academies. I had goosebumps when I stepped foot in it and the feeling of reverence and respect was beyond describable.
In 1941, India received a generous amount from the Sudanese government to build a war memorial in recognition to the sacrifices of Indian troops in the liberation of Sudan in the East African Campaign during World War II. Thus came, the Sudan Block- the administrative quarters of the NDA, into existence. A pic in front of the Sudan Block was a long cherished dream and yes, I have got it.
When your husband says, he was in Panther Squadron, do not mistake it to P Squadron. It is in fact, Panther! Their Squadron is like a home away from home – for three years.
When he goes on and on about the P.T., games, parade, trench digging, swimming, horse-riding, night firing and patrolling among a thousand other stories from the academy, you cannot but look at him in awe.
The Cadets’ Mess is one of the epitome of unity, comradeship and brotherhood among cadets. Your heart grieves when you see a sadly kept empty table with a chair that leans against it in a forlorn manner at the entrance of the mess. This is the seat of those Alumni of the Academy who are listed as Missing in Action or were taken Prisoners of War and did not return.
I can go on and on about how each of the cadets look exactly the same in their training gear or in white t-shirts and shorts, about their stories of survival, of the punishment days or the Gol Market where you get absolutely anything required, or the lawns of the NDA Ball or the revered NDA Passing Out Parade- the culminating event of another successful term. Held at the Khetarpal Parade Ground, comprising over one thousand participating cadets bidding farewell to their senior colleagues, there is a masterly display of drill movements, synchronised with the accompanying band ingrains long lasting memories in participants as well as viewers. The haunting strains of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ leaves you bedazzled.
Three years ago, he had stepped foot into this academy as a boy, skeptical most of the times. As he leaves the institution, he is now a young gentleman strong in body and mind, confident and assured and proud of values imbibed.
NDA- a place where they makes a man out of you.
I am Married to the Olive Green and I’m writing about the 26 things which I get to do/experience that you as a Civilian wife do not!
I hope you come back again tomorrow!
Meanwhile, here is an easy Chicken recipe from my Food Blog to try out!
Sources: Wikipedia, NDA Website and my memories 🙂