By -
I stay at xxxxx at an Army Engineered Dwelling Unit with close to 5000  residences units and I am living in the present house for about last 32 years and post retirement, I have also been Chairman of this Resident Welfare Association and hence I can claim to have some insight into the minds of Veterans right from a Sepoy to Lt Generals.

For some time now I was trying to pen down few of my thoughts regarding my personal observations but only to smile at myself  as an upcoming  writer. While in service I did not have enough insight into the minds of varied shades of veterans. 

Here We  go
                                                                                        1. The first thing that comes to mind is the unidirectional growth, of most of us, as in most cases we are drilled to say 'yes sir' and suddenly you superanuate. This immediately results in a crises of IDENTITY ..!!

Who am I ? What have I done so far, and it seems to me,  all the time Veterans keep comparing themselves either with a senior rank boss or otherwise a senior, colleague or a junior rank. Subconsciously, we convince our selves either being better than those who went past us, or we think it was a kink in the mind of a senior who failed to discern some of my outstanding qualities and this senior of mine, decided that his shortcomings were actually to be branded on me as my shortcomings. I have not come across many who genuinely thought that they have been correctly overlooked' as one had reached the end of the road'. This to my mind gives rise to a subdued hostility towards senior ranks.

2. This also leads to a narrative where one tends to militate during social interactions as well.

3. Due to unidirectional growth, how many times do we hear the same stories again and again. We are forever saying 'When I was -------' 😀This to my mind is reflection of a desire to tell the listener 'I was a  great guy and perhaps you do not know all about me -----' 😂 Now is the time to drill these into you, till you decide to peel off. This is repeated so often that an individual even forgets in last X no of years - same person has heard it so much, that if given a chance, he can repeat it for you verbatim.

4. As the owner of a house(at least in OUR AWHO complex in Noida) there is an insatiable desire to encroach on land in and around your house. Also there a feeling that my encroachment is OK (for self confessed reasons) but my neighbours encroachment is illegal and must be removed. The situation in this part of the world was so bad, that often in my interaction, as Chairman, of RWA with the Chairman (of Noida Authority), he used to tell me that he spends major part of public audience time, in listening to and having a deep insight into the psyche of veterans. An Ex EC Army officer (who joined IAS) and was  posted  as no 2 here, asked me for a solution (& I had none) and in exasperation, he said,  in IAS, we are no angles, but what he saw here has amazed him (we also have two more veteran's sector for Navy & AF officers having around 3000 veterans) for wasting time for the small and insignificant issues.

5. For want of anything better we also have unending and futile debates on the TV discussions and what we read in the newspapers.

6. Also there is unadulterated covictions in the veterans that 'only his view/opinion is the right view/opinion'. He is loath to accept a contrarian view. There are few who gravitate towards meditation(very few are laughable defence experts in TV debates) nothing wrong in that except they want others too, to do like wise.

7. There is an unending debate on how this or that Govt has been unfair to Armed Forces - for pay, pension, order of precedence etc. If quarried - 'Is it insufficient? ' - the answer is always - 'that's not the issue, the issue is why somebody else is better treated'. There is this insatiable desire to prove that as a community we have been done down- it does not matter that we have been adequately provided for.

8. The desire to prove that despite all the sacrifices we make, the powers that be, are not grateful enough. What is enough is not known to any Veteran?

      To sum it up, the idea in my mind was to introspect what will give a peace of mind to most of us when we are in varying degrees of oblivion and at this stage of life I remember what Steve Jobs (the inventor of Apple Computer) said on his death bed (he was dying of cancer)
        - Today I can buy anything money can buy, I can hire any one to to do any thing I want him to do but, No one absolutely no one, can die for me.

     This is being shared with the group, more as an introspection on my part and not for any debate ..!!

    I am still looking for a solution - there seems to be many,though none  is in sight. 😀
    How does one wear  one's ego ,preserved ,altered or suppressed for all the years- till we are done ,while even  we don the mantle of a Veteran ..! Let it go my dear Friend...

Post a Comment


Post a Comment (0)