How the Honour of a Unit was restored !!

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One lovely little message to me just said "Dil Maange More" 

  This 77 year old is now digging out more stories from the hidden crevasses of his old mind !!

So here goes !!

THE YEAR - 1954


My father was now CO 9 FD, an Elite Artillery regiment.

For me as an 8 year old, 9 FD was the WORLD. I hero worshipped every young officer in the regiment (including 2/Lt Rodrigues, later COAS).

 When the regiment was involved in sports activities I was always there to cheer them, and to write down all scores by each player, very carefully. 

When their motorcycles were parked, I would quietly go and shine their mirrors, and dream that one day I would be like them. 

When the regiment went for practice camp I would be standing on the road shouting "9 FD ki jai "  as the trucks and guns went past.

I even got a small danda and  used  to practice rifle drill by watching the quarter guard sentry !!

This then is the background to the story which now unfolds.

Brigadier Moghe was the Sub Area Commander and lived in Sub Area house, adjoining our house at 529 Staff road.

As seem to have been the custom at the time, sentries for the Sub area Commander House used to be provided by each regiment in turn.

When 9 Fd's turn to provide the Guard came, tragedy struck!!

That night, cows got into the sub area commander's  garden, and ate up his prized Hollyhock flowers.

The next morning Brigadier Moghe was furious !!

He lined up my father, the offending CO of 9 Fd, and played merry hell into him.
He ended by saying 9 fd was to now provide the Guard for the next one month, as a punishment !!

The story was told rather sadly, by my father to my mother, at the lunch table where  I was also present.

I was mortified by the incident.

As soon as lunch was over and my father returned to office, I collected my little rifle danda and headed for the sub area commanders house gate. I took up position by the side of the sentry as an extra guard.

When the sub area commander arrived after work at 4:30 p.m. the sentry gave a regular rifle salute, and so did the little eight year old by his side, with his rifle danda.

Brig Moghe was intrigued. He sent his sahayak to find out who the boy was. When the sahayak returned saying that this was CO 9 Fds son, he sent the sahayak back once again to bring me to the house. I believe I refused, and sent back a message that I could not leave my guard post !!

Then events rapidly unfolded !!

I believe Brig Moghe phoned my father at the office, and ask him to report to him
Pronto, in his house.
My father arrived immediately in his Jeep, wondering what new Chaos had arisen. 
The sentry and I, both also saluted the CO, as he went through. After all,  to me, he was the  CO 9 FD, first, and my father later !!

In his pre occupation he did not notice me.

Five minutes later the Sub Area  commander  and 
accompanied my father walked to the gate, and ask me to come and have tea with them. The Sub area Cdr assured  me that the CO had given permission to leave my guard post.

After tea,  my father took me home in his Jeep, which was a special honour, since nobody else, other than the CO, ever sat in this Jeep.

The punishment for 9 fd was immediately withdrawn the next morning !

And  that is how the  Honour of 9 Fd was restored  !!

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