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The worn out shoes

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By Nganthoi Lourembam
Defence Correspondence Course 2014, a journey full of experiences and beautiful memories. I would like to appreciate the Ministry of Defence which has given me the opportunity to take part in the course and made me experience the incredible journey of our lifetime.Our journey begins in the city of Gods’ own Country, Kerala. Little did I expect from the State but the experience I received was so great that after ten days I didn’t feel like packing the bag for next journey. Ten days in Kochi gave me a remarkable knowledge and experience about Indian Navy. Negligence is awful if only I had listened to others and had the medicine for sea sickness I would have had the best experience at Sea. It was a sunny morning we (30 participants) boarded INS Sunayna, the incredible Ship which carries surveillance. I was travelling in a Ship for the very first time in life and I didn’t want to miss out a single sight of activity happening in the Ship. As motion of the Ship starts to roll and pitch my inner motion started to react. The side effect didn’t go off for two to three days otherwise I had a very good experience in Kochi. The hospitality I received from the people of the place starting from the Navy officers to the hotel staffs made me want to stay back in Kochi.Our next journey for the Air Force module was at a place called Sirsa, Haryana. I have never heard of the place and learnt that people of the lace believe in self imposed God called Ram Mahim. So the expectation was very less from the place. Contrary to my thought we had a very good time in Air Force Station Sirsa. We got to see and learn about Missiles, various kinds of Aircrafts and Radars. Though our planned trip to Leh by AN32 got failed we did travel by AN32 to Chandigarh Air Force Station. Apart of all we had a dining in night with full procedures everyone tried hard and struggled to not make any mistakes  Some dropped spoons and someone’s chair fell. But at the end everyone enjoyed it and remained a wonderful memory of our journey. After six days of training at Sirsa our next destination for Army module was Pathankot, Punjab. It almost took eight hours to reach there by Bus due to heavy traffic. We learnt from the Army module how secretive Indian Army is and why it is important. We did try to extract the best knowledge about Military life and many questions have been raised and some have been answered. The best thrilling experience of all was the baffle range firing. We got five round each to fire Insas and another five to fire LMG (Light Machine Gun). I would really  appreciate if we had got 10 round each to shoot LMG. Another delightful practice was the ride on top of T72 Tank.Our last module was the most incredible of all, the Forward Area Tour (FAT) at Jammu and Kashmir. Had not I gone to DCC I would have never landed my feet on LOC. That thrilling simulated night ambush was priceless and till now my heart pounds remembering the very word the Commanding Officer had said, “God forbid it does not happen if the enemy attacks, bend down.” One single foot path surrounded by hidden mine fields with no torch light all the girls walked in the dense forest which is 50 meters far from the Pakistani post at LOC and stayed there for more than an hour. The feeling I had at that very moment is something I can’t tell in words I regret if only we could capture those moments in camera. It was only 12.00 am and the whole sight was covered with fog which made us more difficult to walk back but we relied on the soldiers who were walking in front and behind of us. When we all reached at our designated camp we realised how incredible our Indian Army is and how hard they struggle for the country. One salute to our Indian Army.Time doesn’t wait for anyone our 30 days went so fast. It was time for us to say goodbye to each other. Some became good friends and some became closer. We bade goodbye to our beloved participants with teary eyes and went back home with our bags full of beautiful memories and of course the worn out shoes I had worn for the night ambush I kept it unwashed for it has an incredible memory.

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