Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lusisti satis,edisti satis,atque bibisti,tempus abire tibi est

Inline image 1 on the link to see the Golden Jubilee slide show

Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us

                                      ~Oscar Wilde



Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
~T.S. Eliot

1  Actually the story starts   50 years ago  when OTA was est by Brig Ram Singh, the then Commandant along with the then Union Minsiter of Steel and Heavy Industries C Subramanian. Since its inception, the Academy has commissioned more than 30,000 officers in varied areas of the Indian Army.  

2  From modest beginnings when it was established as Officers Training School in 1963 in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression, the institution, renamed as OTA in its 25th year, had so far trained 23,000 men and 1,900 women. Its alumni had earned a name for themselves with their heroism during conflicts, the most notable among them being Major R. Parameshwaran, killed during Operation Pawan in Sri Lanka and in whose memory the drill square was named.

3  Over the years, OTA has produced valiant and dynamic officers for Indian Army. The alumni of this institution have made supreme sacrifice displaying the most conspicuous gallantry. They included one Param Vir Chakra, seven Ashok Chakra, ten Maha Vir Chakra, 18 Kirti Chakra, 60 Vir Chakra, 101 Shaurya Chakra and 491 Sena Medals. 

4  At present, the Academy had facilities to train 750 young men and women and they had written to the Ministry of Defence to increase and improve facilities so that 1,000 people could be trained, Lt. Gen. Jog  is the present Comdt of the OTA. Lady cadets were trained since 1992.

                          Serve with Honour’


06 Mar 2013  

5     We landed at Chennai airport at about 2000 h after a rather extended flight from C'garh via Delhi (with a long stop-over at T3).The next 72 h promised to be exiting and I and my wife were looking fwd to meeting old friends and partaking the hospitality of the Chola , where we had been booked , kind courtsey OTA . Light rain  , cloudy skies greeted our arrival at Chennai airport as we prayed for good weather for the next three days. The LO NCO , Ravi was there and off we went in a a dedicated CHT to Chola. So far so good ,  once again , hope it does not rain on the morrow.  (Time now: 2330h). Contact was est with friends and their spouses by mobile and and some of us met in the 24 h cafe' , the price list of the bill of fare  was shocking!!  I settled for the most affordable ''500 ml tap Kingfisher' which set me back by Rs 450!!?? (never again ). Back to the room--ah bliss , but then *******   star hotels do spoil you.

07 Mar 2013

6     Clear skies , a hint of clouds with a fresh breeze ushered in 07th morning. An Audi deluxe bus with the LO NCO took us to the hallowed portals of OTA. As we entered the gate,  forgotten memories came rushing back ,---the road going in front of RS Bn (Jessami and Kohima barracks), then the Cadets Mess,Comdts Office, Adm Complex, onwards to Meiktila and then the Nausherra lines ,PT ground.The cursed  P hill still looked as formidable as before (though I could'nt spot Kalakotti or BCA Sandhu anywhere!!)

7    And what a parade it was!!!--- with the Army Cdr ARTRAC taking the salute.  Yes , once again I was proud to have been a part of this fine Army. The fly past by three ALH     choppers added to the lustre and pomp of the  occasion .  A high tea had been  catered for after which we retired for OTW/golf  ,   the dinner  for the evening being scheduled at 1900 h.

8    The dinner was another grand show which began with an entertainment programme, a sone't Lumiere giving the history of OTA  along with a  spectacular  laser show . Some real classic numbers were sung by  a very accomplished and well known young girl  on the music circuit who is also an  Army daughter ( her grandfather was a Gunner-------old timers would recollect Gen Gauri shankar CO , 39 Med Regt . Her father too is an Army officer) . Once the Comdt and his wife were on the floor , was it possible for the multitude of old OTA'nians and their wives to be left behind??--the wine flowed and the merry making continued with much back slapping as old comrades ran into each other and met like long lost brothers ,while wives looked on with amazement at a very cadet'ish like behaviour being displayed by their husbands! What an evening it was--- and a 'sit down ' dinner for all (incl cadets )for both days!!!-some plg , some coord and some vision.

08 Mar 2013

9   The OTA alumini meet and the and the OTA Ball were the major events of the day.The OTA alumini meet was chaired by the Governor of Chattisgarh  , (  an OTA aluminus--EC 1 if I am not wrong, AND FROM MY UNIT , 216 Med Regt,  to boot  ) . The ball was in the evening with a pageant (Mr and Ms OTA) , a Waltz/Foxtrot by the Lady and Gentlemen cadets and soon the dance floor was again innundated by officers and their wives. Mementos by various dignitaries and courses  were presented amidst thunderous applause . A  Silver trophy and paintings by HH the Maharaja of Udai Pur. Maharaj Kumar Lakshyaraj Singh Ji .Silver trophies were also presented on behalf of UP & MB Area and the DG Ord. The piece d' resistance was , ofcourse , the silver TROPHY presented by SS 24 T 15  !!! All the officers of the course attending the re-union were on the stage as the Trophy was  handed over to the Comdt. Am I being parochial?? Why not , pray??!!

10  I must mention here about the thought which was given to presenting each visitor with all that memorabilia-- Tie , Memento , Coffeee Table Book ,Key Chain, First Day Cover, Bag etc.


10  As already communicated , the attendance from our course was as follows-
  (a)  Maj Gen & Mrs SK Manchanda
  (b)  Col & Mrs RK Singh
  (c)  Brig & Mrs JS Soin
  (d)  Col & Mrs TJ Davies
  (e)  Col & Mrs D Pardeep Kumar
  ( f ) Capt & Mrs Udai Nikam
  (g)  Brig & Mrs DS Sarao

                  Finally , a salute to Lt Gen  and Mrs  SS JOG  and the Offrs and Ladies of OTA , without whose personal touch,this grand re-union would never have been possible.



                 In the end---''Lusisti satis,edisti satis,atque bibisti,tempus abire tibi est'''---''You have played enough , eaten enough and drunk enough: it's time for you to leave''

                                                Pass the missive to all OTA ALUMINI please !!