I am a bit delayed than I planned to be to continue with my Fantasy for Armed Forces Part 1 story, the part 2nd 😛 Can I do anything now apart from regretting the delay? Yes! Just get on with it rather than this unnecessary prelude… Alright alright!
“Touch the Sky with Glory”
The repeated visits to the internet cafe made me mention to my mom once about my interest in military; not joining the military though. I wasn’t even sure if at all girls like me, who are still studying in junior college, were elegible & should be thinking about joining the Army. My idea of Army, being from a small town was restricted to what I saw in movies (not to forget the lack of exposure of women officers in the action packed movies) and the only touch of reality was the Sunday parade I used to watch thoroughly amazed at how these rugged girls were given guns to handle & run around the dusty ground. That was pretty much about it. I knew nothing about the job profile, pay scale, etc., i.e. whatever a grown up and sane person would evaluate before getting into a profession. I was a teenager for God’s sake and knowing that I would be transferred to remote places with fellow mates was as exciting as it could get & get paid for this stuff too! LoL 😀
“The safety, honour and welfare of your country”
I never knew until few years down the line that the National Cadet Corps (NCC) had three wings too coz the Sunday parade in my town had only brown uniform – the Army wing! The existence of air wing & naval wing tripled my hopes of qualifying for one of them. The dusty ground & the combat uniform was sure very alluring & the sense of freedom in spite of being under stringent commands of the department & enslaving disciplinary routines were a way of getting wings of fire for me. I can go on & on about the sense of pride that filled my heart by just thinking of myself having a letter pad with ‘Lieutenant’ prefixed to my name.
“May the Lord of the Oceans be Auspicious Unto Us”
I was alone who thought like this in my friend circle & peers. Most of them were goaded or conditioned to think of only the engineering and medicine branches of studies for taking up a career. But, I wanted a way of life for myself; not a job that would give me loads of cash AND I was damn proud of myself to think larger than my mates 🙂
I was crazy about joining the Defence services & never thought any other profession measured up to it. The olive green uniform of the Indian Army was my ultimate dream & would have been my highest sense of achievement… at least that’s what I feel now being in the civilian sector & with a private job. May be my perception could have change after I went in there, who knows! After all, the grass always seems greener on the other end.
I manoeuvred my studies from the 10th standard, i.e. high school to become eligible to be in the forces. Before I elaborate on that let me give you an idea about the education system here. In India we have 10+2+3 system – till 10th a person is said to be in school, then junior college (if the school doesn’t have +12, i.e. 11th and 12th) and then the three, four or five year graduation, depending on the stream. One can select one of these three branches – Arts, Commerce, Science after completing 10th. So, I scanned the government sites & their placement section with fine speculation and reconfirmed the information from other such sites & even went around the city (had newly shifted to the city from a small town – both located in Maharashtra) finding out and meeting ex military personnel for getting more confirmed information.
I found out one needs to have a Science background with Mathematics and Physics in the 10+2 for being in the Administration department of all the wings of Defence – Army, Navy, Air Force. I can say I was a good student but with more interest in extracurricular activities. May be that’s why I never stood first in class! Anyway, being from a family of predominantly Engineering professionals & Science graduates I was naturally conditioned to believe it is the most revered stream of studies. I scored average in the 10th standard & the much concerned relatives (they are always more concerned about us than own parents in India!) started giving barrage of uncalled for advices about which stream I should take. I did not want to study something new! I knew Science, not Arts or Commerce! The fact that ‘business’ never roused my interest choosing Commerce was a far cry & I loved Literature as hobby. Irrespective of their speculations & insistence I stuck to Science.
So, taking into note the criteria of the necessary subjects to become eligible for the Indian Army (predominantly Army, then Air Force & lastly, the Navy) I chose Maths, Physics & Information Technology as an elective. All this while I never told anything to my parents or any of my friends. Ah! I remember mentioning to my mom once about the eligibility criteria because of the frequent visits to the internet cafe. We did not have a computer at home & internet was just coming up. This was in 2002.
To be continued…
P.S. In the next part I will write about what was my idea about the Armed Forces belonging a small town from childhood. That will help you relate to the content of this post better, like a prelude. I only knew the National Cadet Corps (NCC) as military!