Chandigarh: In a reunion that revived ties that went back nearly 58 years, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Sunday night hosted his batch mates from the National Defence Academy (NDA) for a rare dinner.
Shedding distance and time, the 57 batch mates of the Chief Minister from NDA Khadakwasla came together to recall shared memories and experiences of their days of training for the defence services and the years gone by.
The reunion also gave the men an opportunity to catch up with each other’s lives since they last met, as they went on a spree of discovery about their years post their service stints.
For a few hours, the men, who later went on to join different wings of the Indian defence forces, were back to being the young boys who had committed themselves to the service of their motherland. It was evident that their love for the defence services, and for their country, still remained as strong as ever.
Having grown up seeing the uniform, and enamoured with arms since his childhood, Amarinder said that joining the army and serving the country was the only life he had dreamt and fantasized about. It was a sentiment that every single of his batch mates seemed to share, as was evident from their memories of their defence life. Nearly six decades seemed to disappear as the 58 men talked animatedly about those days of stringent tests followed by some tough training, before they could don their uniforms.
Captain, who chose to wear the olive green, distinctly remembered the moment when, in July 1959, he joined the George (now Delta) Squadron at NDA, located on the banks of the serene Lake Khadakwasla. As many of his batch mates pointed out, Amarinder’s love for the Army had stood the test of time and remained at the heart of his fondest memories.
His batch mates remembered him as a distinguished cadet, who captained the riding and polo team at NDA. Capt Singh was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1963 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, the Sikh Regiment – a battalion in which his father and grandfather had served with distinction before him.
For the Army man turned politician, as for his batch mates, this reunion was a moment they would always cherish. Coming together like this after 40 years was like a dream come true for the men, who hoped this reunion would be a precursor to many more in the coming years.
The Chief Minister said he would treasure the memory of this day for the rest of their life. It was, for all of them, another experience to regale their grandchildren, or even their great grandchildren, he added.
On the occasion, Amarinder released a book "Tryst with Perfidy”, authored written by Lt Gen Kamal Davar, Former Chief of Defence Intelligence Agency.
Among those who joined the get-together were Lt Gen GS Sihota, Lt Gen BM Kapur, Lt Gen Natarajan, Lt Gen Kamal Dawar, Air Vice Marshal Sisodia, Maj Gen MS Parmar, Lt Gen Prakash Suri, Lt Gen Naryain Chatterjee, Commodore Nath and Maj Gen Gurjeet Singh Randhawa.