8 Aug 2012

Testosterone - Adventures From Another Era

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My Hindustan story has got stuck at Forzpur. I offer an apology to my fans.
I am struggling between work, travel and research, all of which have now diverted me a bit from the plot of Hindustan, to a future story of late Sub Maj Kashiram, a story that I compulsively need to tell before the sands of time run out for me. But I will make all efforts to first complete the Hindustan story before I start the next one !!!. To keep your interest alive, I decided to steal a story from my dearest friend Jas, to keep you reading my blog and not give up. So here it is.
 This is an amazing Enid Blyton kind of adventure story, full of testosterone, of four incredible 18 year old  NDA cadets, who impetuously went off on their own to plant a NDA flag atop the 22,000 feet ‘Nar Parbat’ in Gharwal range, armed with ‘Dog Biscuits’ and very little else other than few things that they pilfered from here and there. A feat accomplished in ten days during a midterm break, without any one ever hearing about it. Those days, one did things just for the heck of doing it, not for publicity or acclaim. If there ever is an inspirational first hand story that can warm the cockles of the heart, young as well the old, here is it. 
What an incredible tale written by Cadet Jasbir Singh[1]. Reason why he has been my role model and best friend for 52 years. The footnotes, about my course mates, were written by me, to tell you who they are and what became of them.
 On your marks, Get set ..........here we go.
Chin up, stomachs in, square your shoulder, clench your fist, march up,........ till you reach an age where all you can do is to tell stories. Till then be soldiers, the good guys.
Cyclic

Testosterone
Adventures From Another Era

In the first half of 1969 I was a 5th termer from 37th Course in H (Hunter) Squadron of National Defence Academy (NDA) at Khadakwasla. Somewhere half way through the term, on a Sunday, the cadets of H-Squadron were called upon to do an exercise, to clean their bicycles in the ‘Cycle Stand’ that was located in the quadrangle behind our squadron lines, in preparation for the approaching ‘Cycle Inspection’. I think that was where I got this grand idea, that I must do something incredibly more stupid than clean bicycles on a Sunday, in order to become a good officer of the Indian Army.
‘Why don’t I climb a mountain ?,’ I thought to myself.
It was just a passing thought.
 Among those cleaning the cycles along with me were my two good friends in H-Squadron, Cadets BP Singh[2] and BS Godara[3]. When we had finished cleaning the cycles, BP Singh (Boots Aka Boota depending on his mood) suggested that we go to the Café next door and enjoy what remained of our precious Sunday. Pushing our bicycles into the stands and applying the all-important chain & padlocks, we rushed to our cabins to retrieve some money. Money was always kept hidden in the most incredibly secretive places, sometimes inside dirty and smelly OG socks in the kit bag, or under the draw of study table. One had only a few Rupees, but that was enough to buy a stomach full of happiness at the NDA Café, mostly Hot Dogs, Chocolate Barfis and the delectable Mangola, a concoction that Mr Kapoor had patented before the advent of Coke and Pepsi.

When we reached the Café, loud music was playing. A beaming and bespectacled Mr Kapoor welcomed us inside. Mr Kapoor was the owner-cum-manager and he was known amongst NDA cadets as ‘BSL’,  ‘Bum-Slung-Low’, rather outrageous but a befitting sobriquet. We sat at a table for meant for four cadets and ordered Mangola & Chocolate Barfis- our standard fare.  A cadet who was sitting across the Cafe, sauntered over and joined us at our table. There were happy handshakes and back-slapping. The cadet who joined us was SS Thakar[4], a course-mate from ‘I’ (India) Squadron. The quorum at the table was complete, I had an audience.
 Amidst light hearted banter about Sub Maj Kanshi Ram’s ‘drill-square antics’, I suggested to my friends that we should go and climb a peak in the Himalayas to prove that we were ready to be men of substance. We had the previous week-end watched an adventure movie in which the hero had climbed a tall, rugged mountain peak, and that was the origin of my brilliant idea, not very original I guess. But it helped fire the imagination of my three friends. They readily agreed to the proposal to climb a peak, they were as crazy as I was, if not more crazy. We were dying to do healthy mischief.  After much discussion, more Mangolas, Hotdogs and Burfis, it was mutually decided that we need to do a survey of a climbable peak in the Himalayas and to find one, we would need to peruse maps and charts of the Himalayas. We didn’t know where to start looking. However, it was mutually agreed that the project had to be kept ‘Top Secret’ if it had to succeed.

‘Try Mr Basu’s Geography Department’, Suhas suggested, he was the only one who had intelligence, rest of us had muscles between our ears. ‘I will befriend Mr Basu’s daughter to get weather forecast’, Suhas volunteered. We sniggered, over the Mangola. In our opinion at that time, femme fatales were no good for forecast, we were not sure what they were good at. So we made Suhas in-charge of identifying a climbable peak and to sort out weather and other dooms day predictions from Mz Basu using his incredible charm and wit.

Within a week, we discovered to our dismay, that it was not easy to get hold of any maps. All documents connected with the Himalayan borders were considered extremely sensitive, after the ‘Chinese Aggression’ of 1962. Mz Basu refused to help, and Mr Basu’s  assistants were reluctant to let us take a look at the maps of Himalayas, of Ladakh and NEFA. We knew we could find them in the Army Training Team, but in 5th term, we did not have any access to that citadel.  After a lot of persuasion with believable lies about religious faith and cajoling with boyish enthusiasm, a god fearing fellow named ‘Panditji’, an assistant in the Geography department permitted us to study maps of peaks around the Himalayan shrine of Badrinath in the Gharwal region, far away from contentious area concerning the Chinese. However, ‘Panditji’s’ conditions were rigid,  the maps had to be studied while standing in the dark and dingy confines of the store-room of Geography Department.

Luckily, Suhas Thakar’s Uncle was serving as Second-in-Command of an Artillery unit (93 Mountain Regt), located in Joshimath area.  Thakar wrote to his Uncle about the planned expedition and received a prompt reply saying that the Artillery Regt had a battery located at Mana and they would be glad to arrange transportation from the rail-head at Raiwala to Joshimath and onwards to Mana. The Uncle added that the Regt would provide us with necessary mountaineering equipment (nylon ropes, climbing boots, crampons, heavy woollen socks, woollen caps, gloves, snow goggles, ice axes etc). The Uncle, however, wanted us to avoid undertaking a dangerous venture like attempting to climb a mountain peak. He wrote we should instead settle for a trekking holiday. However, all four of us discussed the matter and decided that we would adhere to our original plan of climbing a mountain peak.


























The news Thakar gave us about location of 93 Mountain Regiment, was indeed heartening and it spurred us on to look for a suitable peak in Garhwal Himalayas. All four of us studied the maps of Badrinath area and even painstakingly made pencil sketches of all the roads & tracks in the area. Whenever we could find the time, we met in the silent confines of ‘H’ Sqn ante room and discussed our plans for the so called ‘expedition’. The meetings also allowed us to play some billiards in the adjoining Billiards Room.  We excitedly considered various factors and finally decided to climb a peak named ‘Nar Parbat’, which was about 22,000 feet above mean sea level, in Garhwal Himalayas. Once the peak had been identified, Thakar agreed to inform his Uncle that we were determined to climb Nar Parbat with assistance of 93 Mountain Regt and would not like to waste our precious summer break doing a Himalayan Trek. We felt that treks were meant for ‘sissies’, while we had to perform a ‘gung ho’ feat and climb a difficult Himalayan peak. Although a number of serious problems stared us in the face, we were determined to climb Nar Parbat. We sat quietly in NDA library for hours on end to research and went over our plans with a ‘fine-toothed comb’. Since, it was difficult for Thakar to come all the way to ‘H’ Sqn at odd hours, we often left him out when we would meet regularly and try to find ways to overcome our problems of finances, food-stuffs, NDA flag to plant on the peak and most importantly, permission from our parents - it had been agreed that the expedition would be launched during the forthcoming summer term break and we would get only a couple of days at home, after the climb. Transportation from Kirkee to New Delhi was to be done by the NDA Special Train. Then, from New Delhi to Raiwala we were to travel by train ‘without tickets’. If we were caught by Railway Staff, we planned to tell them a ‘sob story’ and promptly buy ‘third class’ tickets. It had been arranged by Thakar that vehicles of 93 Mountain Regt would transport us from Raiwala to Joshimath, Mana and back. 
As we were determined to climb Nar Parbat, we decided to tell only a few close friends of our plans. We required their cooperation and assistance with the logistics of our mission. They tried their best to dissuade us from venturing on the expedition. They warned us of the serious pitfalls in our plans. They told us to behave like ‘normal’ cadets and go home for a well deserved summer-break, after the gruelling rigours of NDA.   It was decided that at any cost, NDA authorities were not to get even a whiff of our plans. We found out that the Adventure Club in Science block had some camping  type rucksacks but we had to find an excuse to get at them. We told our Sqn Cdr a compelling yarn that we were going on a short trek during the term break and requested his help to draw the rucksacks. ‘Crazy Buggers’, he commented, but gave us a chit to go and get the rucksacks issued from the Adventure Club in his name.   Cadet Umang Kapoor, smartly dressed in white patrols, was returning from a rehearsal of ‘Stick Orderly duties’ for the forthcoming Passing Out Parade (POP). Boota requisitioned his help to help us carry the heavy rucksacks back to ‘H’ Squadron. We had to be wary not to be seen by the ‘old fox’, Sub Maj Kanshi Ram, who was said to be lurking near the ‘Quarter Deck’. Besides his baritone and gravelly voice, Sub Maj Kanshi Ram was said to have a pair of eyes ‘at the back of his head’. If we were caught, Sub Maj Kanshi Ram would surely tell Maj Canteenwala, Adjutant, and our game would be as good as over, even before the adventure had begun!

Cadets Umang Kapoor, BP Singh and Jasbir Singh (L-R), carry rucksacks and climbing gear – posing in front of the Ashoka pillar


                                                       
The four of us wrote to our parents, giving some bullshit about going trekking, the same story that we had given to our Sqn Cdr, explaining that we would only be able to spend just a few days at home, before proceeding back to NDA. It was necessary to keep them distracted so that they did not complain to NDA that we did not come home and that we were missing. Despite all my fears, my parents did not object.  I guess they were glad to have the ‘bounder’ out of their hair, for some more time.

Our major problem was the logistic nightmare, arranging food and water for duration of the actual climb to the peak. After finding no other viable solution, it was decided that ‘dog biscuits’ received with morning and afternoon tea would have to suffice. We requested the Company Quater-Master Seargent (CQMS) to ask all cadets of ‘H’ Sqn to forgo two biscuits from the four biscuits each cadet received daily, all for a good cause, our expedition. We packed these biscuits in foot-long cylindrical rolls made of news paper and secured with bits of sticking tape,  stolen from the Sqn Cdr’s office. We had our NDA issue water bottles, and where we had to go there would be snow. So water was not considered a problem. On assessing our total requirement of foodstuffs, we realized the biscuits would not suffice for the entire expedition. As we had only limited money and could not purchase the items, the option we all agreed was to raid the Café. That night we quietly entered the Café and returned to ‘H’ Sqn with bulging pillow cases filed with biscuits, cakes, packets of ‘namkeen’, tins of mango pulp (from which BSL Kapoor made ‘Mangola’ drinks) and long strings of sausages. We laughed heartily when we imagined the shocked expression on the face of ‘BSL’ Kapoor, when he opened the Café next morning. 
           
We felt it was absolutely necessary to plant a NDA flag on ‘Nar Parbhat’. The problem of obtaining a flag was resolved in a rather ingenious manner. While returning from Inter Squadron Athletics Competition in progress at NDA Stadium, I quietly removed a blue coloured flag, fluttering at the start point of 110 m High Hurdles race. A paper stencil was prepared in ‘Hitler’s Workshop’ with letters of NDA. Then, the blue flag was laid flat on the ground at ‘H’ Squadron parade ground and large amounts of ‘liberated’ white paint was evenly spread over the stencil. Now, our expedition had a flag that proudly proclaimed ‘NDA’ in bold white letters, and we hoped it would soon adorn ‘Nar Parbhat’.
           
After POP, all four of us moved to Kirkee and boarded the NDA Special Train that was going to New Delhi. The journey was uneventful and we spent our time studying the hand-drawn maps and packing and re-packing our precious food supplies. This was done when we were not participating in unruly activities that were an integral part of travelling on the NDA Special Train. At New Delhi we stayed a day in BP Singh’s home and excitedly went out to the nearby market and bought some essential items, mostly dehydrated foodstuff that was just beginning to come into the market those days.

Thakar, Godara, Bhuta & Jasbir at Bhuta’s home in Delhi

Deciding that ‘discretion was better than valour’, on the next day, we bought ‘third class’ train tickets and boarded a crowded compartment on the night train from Old Delhi to Dehra Dun. After a rather uncomfortable night spent sitting on hard, wooden seats, early in the morning we were happy to get off the train at Raiwala Railway Station. At RTO Office (now called MCO Office), we were met by a smartly uniformed Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) of 93 Mountain Regt. We walked across to an Army convoy, where the JCO asked us to get into a Nissan One Ton truck. We quickly hoisted ourselves over the tail-board of the vehicle and settled down in its rear portion. The truck was loaded with sacks of potatoes and had some bags of red chillies, as well. The condiments made us sneeze and our noses began to run freely. Soon, the convoy started up the mountain and we were tossed around uncontrollably, as the truck swerved sharply and bounced along the pitted road. When we were not busy retching over the tailboard, we saw a number of villages and small towns whiz past us. The road snaked along the turbulent Alaknanda River and clouds of dark, diesel smoke wafted into the rear portion of the truck. The diesel fumes caused us to be horribly sick and we vomited uncontrollably over the tail-board of the bouncing truck. The convoy sped past Srinagar, Chamoli, Karnaprayag, Rudraprayag and in the evening, the vehicles finally entered Joshimath.

At Joshimath we met Thakar’s Uncle, who was a senior Maj in the Regt. He allotted us a room that had both walls and roof made of tin sheets. We were fascinated by the ‘tin room’, as we had never seen such a structure. After recovering from our journey, on the next day, we organized our kit and discussed our future plans with Thakar’s Uncle. We were advised to make a trip to Hemkund, to get acclimatized, before we attempted the main climb to Nar Parbat. Next morning, we were taken from Joshimath to Govindghat in a One Ton truck. At Govindghat we dismounted from the vehicle and trekked along the river, for a distance of 15 km and arrived at the small settlement of Ghagaria. After a night in the Gurudwara at Ghagaria, we began the climb to Hemkund at 14, 500 feet above sea level. There were now steep slopes on the way and we found Hemkund to be devoid of any kind of habitation. At Hemkund there was a small Gurudwara, which was locked.  A sheet of ice covered the large pond, located at the base of high snow clad mountains. We broke a hole in the ice sheet over the pond and entered the freezing water, for a holy dip.  In no time at all, we were out on the snow and glad to be back in our warm clothes. After the dip and obeisance from outside the closed Gurudwara, we descended to Ghagaria, for another night in the lower Gurudwara.                            
 Next morning the four of us hefted our heavy haversacks and trekked back to Govindghat and the road. Once at the road, we did not have to wait for long as a One Ton Truck of  93 Mountain Regt was awaiting our arrival. After a short drive, we passed the famed temple at Badrinath and drove on to the Battery Camp at Mana. Here, we were met by the Battery Commander named Capt Duggal[5] and a young 2 Lt, who seemed to smile all the time. We were put up in a large snow tent that was surrounded by towering rock faces and snow covered peaks.

Capt Duggal was hospitable and very pleased to know we were from NDA, and had volunteered for the climb during our summer term break. He entertained us with humorous annecdotes of life in ‘Foxtrot’ Squadron, NDA, during his time as a cadet. He told us about how they would tip-toe behind a ‘nosey-parker’ Div O, who had a habit of lurking around the Sqn lines at night, to see what cadets were up to. Once they had scared him by making ghostly sounds from the darkened bathrooms on first floor. The poor Div O had run down, kick-started his scooter and zoomed off to D-3 Area. He was never seen again in ‘F’ Sqn lines at night after this episode. That is what Duggal told us. We in turn regaled him with similar stories, to assure him that NDA was more or less the same and nothing had changed.
We were shown the general route to Nar Parbat area and given a small snow-tent, nylon ropes and ice axes. Having acclimatized earlier, we did not have to wait for long before we began our long awaited climb. Carrying the cumbersome mountaineering equipment and heavy tent for the first time in our lives, we said our goodbyes and began climbing towards Vasudhara Falls (famous for exploits of Pandavas, during the legendary epic of ‘Mahabharata’). As we plodded on, we were dwarfed by the sheer rock faces and mountain peaks, all around us. We could scarcely believe we were actually climbing in Garhwal Himalayas. We passed Vasudhara Falls, which was quite a disappointment as we had expected a much larger waterfall, with a greater volume of water.
We moved one behind the other, puffing heavily due to the rarefied, high altitude air, the steep climb and our heavy loads. We climbed silently and generally looked down as we proceeded higher. The foot-track soon disappeared and we were confronted with a sheer rock face. Cautiously, we negotiated the difficult climb and stopped at the top of the rock to catch our breath and admire the massive mountain peaks around us. We stopped frequently to catch their breath and to admire the beautiful mountain peaks, all around us.

Soon, heavy black clouds began to fill the sky and we prayed silently, hoping the weather would not turn foul. Soon, there was the first rumble of thunder as we reached a small snow covered flat piece of ground.  Looking at our watches we realized that we had been climbing continuously for more than eight hours after we had left Mana. The area had some pieces of shale lying on the snow and appeared a good place to spend the night. With the weather worsening rapidly, we halted for the night at the flat ground and removed our heavy rucksacks. A cold wind began to lash the area and the temperature plummeted rapidly. We speedily pitched the snow-tent, and sat within our sleeping bags. Most of our climbing gear had to be left outside the tent, as there was not enough room within the pup tent for four of us and our stuffed rucksacks. With the map given to us by Capt Duggal, and crude preliminary navigation using our hand held compass, we estimated that we were at an altitude of about 18,000 ft above sea level and had covered considerable distance from Mana.     

Thakar and Godara went off to sleep. So I prodded Boota and we went out of the cozy tent to  light a primus stove in a small hollow. Protected from the cold and howling wind, we opened some cans and made hot corn soup on the hissing primus stove. Faraway, deep down in the valley, we could see the twinkling lights of Mana and Badrinath. Once the soup was cooked, we poured it into porcelain mugs and carried the mugs inside the tent. Shivering with biting cold we drank the hot soup and ate some of ‘BSL’ Kapoor’s sausages. The meal tasted delicious and we topped it off with about ten ‘dog biscuits’ each. Contented with the dinner, we climbed into our sleeping bags. Meanwhile, angry gusts of cold wind buffeted the tent and we were glad we had used heavy rocks to weigh down the tentflaps. We had lit a solitary candle in the tent and it provided us with enough light and warmth. We remembered Duggal’s solemn warning not to keep the candle lit for more than 10 minutes. He had told us the naked candle flame would use up the oxygen in our enclosed tent, and lead to  our suffocation and a disastrous end for us. He had added that the naked candle was a great fire hazard as well. So we promptly blew out the candle and shivered in our sleeping bags. A torch-light was kept handy in the middle of the tent, and it had to be switched ‘on’ in case of a emergency.
Next morning we were up before dawn. On emerging from the tent we looked up at the sky and were pleased to see the clouds had cleared, leaving us a beautiful morning. A number of jet black Ravens were hopping about around our tent. They opened their grey coloured beaks and squawked loudly when they saw emerge from the tent. As the day dawned, a warm Sun showed itself over the tall mountain to the east and bathed the four of us in its warm glow. Dark clouds were beginning to gather in the sky and we realized that an immediate attempt had to be made to reach the summit of Nar Parbat, before the weather worsened. We knew that bad weather could last for days at a stretch and by the coming afternoon clouds would cover the sky and bring menacingly cold winds and fresh snow. Not wanting to delay our move, we put our rucksacks within the tent, had some hot tea and ‘dog biscuits’ and began the final climb. It was a steep climb to the summit, through deep snow drifts and over sharp rock faces. The ice axes were useful for cutting steps in the ice as we climbed higher. The climb was easier than the previous day as our heavy rucksacks had been left in the tent. We desperately speeded up the climb as violent gusts of icy wind buffeted us and the visibility began to drop rapidly.
  After a four to five hours steep limb, at about 10 AM, we found there was no more uphill climb and the snow slope began to descend gradually. With great joy we halted and realized we were at the summit of Nar Parbat. We quickly unfurled the NDA flag, took some photographs and made a silent wish. We quickly descended to a lower altitude as the blowing sleet had begun to sting our faces and clog our goggles. The visibility progressively got worse as the strong wind turned to a raging blizzard. With great difficulty we descended to the ledge, where our lone tent stood like a ghostly sentinel. Quickly we got into the tent and snuggled into our sleeping bags. We were thrilled as we had defied all odds and climbed Nar Parbat. It all seemed well worth the effort and even our missed summer vacation was forgotten. The great stories we had for the other cadets of our squadron, was all that mattered.  We never used any oxygen. That is why I presume I had a horrible bout of mountain sickness. In the tent, I hallucinated that I was an oversized Raven. I felt I was sitting on a rock and squawking like mad. By next morning all of us were in pretty bad shape. We buried most of our useless things, our personal stuff, clothes, toiletry, foodstuffs and everything that we could jettison to make our packs lighter for the return trip. It was down hill and the weather was brilliant and sunny. So we made it back to Mana safely. We stayed with Capt Duggal for two days to get our breath back and to have enough energy to travel back to Joshimath, more or less in the same manner that we had gone up. We were given a rousing welcome back by Thakar’s uncle in 93 Mtn Rgt mess, including a hot water bath and sumptuous food. Thereafter we were put on a convoy that was heading back to Raiwala.  

Outside Raiwala railway station we ate a frugal meal in a Dhaba. We bought 3rd class return tickets to Delhi. What little money that remained, we split it equally between all four of us. Boota and Godara went back to Delhi. Suhas went back to Bombay and I went to Moradabad to see my parents at our farm. The four of us spent around four days with our parents and then it was time to go back to NDA to begin our 6th and last term in NDA.  The rucksacks were returned to the adventure club and the four of us went back to Panditjii to thank him for his help. However, we told Mz Basu that her dooms day prediction of weather did not come true and that there was bright sun all the way from NDA to Mt Everest which we had climbed. She really believed us, that we had climbed Mt Everest and hence forgave our snub. We told her that we had specially packed some snow and brought it all the way to Poona, but it melted. She was a nice girl. She smiled and said, ‘Ja,Ja Bekoof’. We thought she was asking us to climb another mountain to win her affections, we were pretty foolish boys when it came to girls. But a 22,000 feet mountain we did climb, the four of us, all by ourselves.  It was easier than winning the affections of Ms Basu and girls of those times. It made us feel soldierly, whatever that meant. It was simply an impetuous act of youth due to an over doze of adrenalin and testosterone.
 Jas


[1]  Jasbir Singh is a 5th generation military officer from the illustrious Sekhon clan who once helped Ranjit Singh rule an undivided Punjab, every one of them illustrious and highly decorated. Jasbir was commissioned into 4 Kumaon, fought the 71 war in Bangladesh, was decorated in Nagaland for acts of valour, did yeoman military service in India and abroad. Commanded a Brigade in Chamb during Kargil conflict and if he had his way, he may have gone and captured Pak singlehanded.  Instead, he was sent to Lesotho to stop two warring factions. He did all that and more, almost single handed, armed with just a stick. As the National Security Advisor under UN auspices in Lesotho, he conducted free and fair elections and helped form a new Democratic Republic. He is basically a man who thought he was a T-90 tank, unstoppable, till God decided he has done enough and more, gave him Double  Scoliosis and put him in a wheel chair in Ranikhet where he now lives happy and content with his extraordinary and charming wife Saby and writes wonderful tales of honour and valour, like this incredible story.

[2]  BP Singh, aka Boots, as well as Boota, was generally known as ‘MGM Lion’ for his life like enactment of the ‘MGM Lion’s Roar’, he often performed this in ‘H’ Sqn anteroom whenever he was called upon to entertain. Bhuta went on to  join IAF and was an inspirational  fighter pilot. He took a premature retirement as a Wg Cdr and is now doing yeoman service teaching young people to fly in Sagar (MP).

[3]  BS Godara joined the army, Corps of Engineers and did brilliant things in peace and war. Finally he changed to Army’s ‘Legal’ branch. He retired a Colonel and now lives in Gurgaon, fighting different kind of battles, the ones in a court. He continues to be an illustrious and inspiring soldier.

[4]  Suhas Thakar is a brilliant immensely helpful and likable person, a Rimcolian like Jasbir, he had stood first in the order of merit for joining NDA with 37th course. Afterwards, he joined the Corps of Engineers and served in the elite 411 Parachute Field Company and did very inspirational things in peace and war. He took premature retirement as a Colonel and is currently managing a large infrastructural firm in Mumbai, running it with clockwork efficiency and doing socially inspiring work.

[5]   Jasbir met Capt Duggal again when they were operating in East Pakistan during the India-Pakistan War, 1971. Duggal was an OP officer with Jasbir’s neighbouring battalion. He was sadly killed while directing 75/24 mm artillery fire onto enemy defences, during an attack on Munshibazaar,  Sylhet Sector, East. Pakistan (now Bangladesh).