Celebrating Valentine's Day One day, she remarked, 'Birthdays make you feel old, wedding anniversaries are not individualistic, it is only Valentine's Day that symbolises ageless feelings of love.' How true! Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes
They say a good maid is the household's delight. The recent episode involving a controversy involving an Indian diplomat's maid had assumed the dimensions of an international irritant.
Soldiers have a unique disposition. Where will you find a community charging at each other at the battlefield and again eager to hug off it. Such is the irony, exemplary dedication to professional honesty both as a soldier and as a human being. The India, Pakistan peace initiative (IPSI) epitomises one such spirit.
A couple of months ago, it was reported that Shaheed Bhagat Singh had not been declared a martyr in official records. It seemed a routine faux pas originating from an overzealous officialdom. Adherence to official records or a clerical mistake at times overrules issues of common knowledge. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
Struck with a spate of military transport accidents in his command, the General Officer Commanding addressed the officers of the division. "Gentlemen, we must adopt defensive driving as our mantra." He stressed on holding training classes for the rank and file to hone the skills involved in this novel concept. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes
The period between the results and joining the Indian Military Academy was heady. Introductions to strangers changed overnight from a non-entity to an army officer in the making. Braving a tough regimen at the academy, a rather brazen transformation of a cushy lifestyle as a carefree college student to a challenging life of a cadet with a clockwork routine was exhilarating. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
Karva Chauth symbolises love between husband and wife. Celebrated in north Indian states, Gujarat and Rajasthan, the festival has unconfirmed origins. Women display vibrant enthusiasm as they deck up with bright clothes and choicest jewellery and fast the whole day without food and water for a long life of their husbands. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes
Murphy’s law states, “Tell a man there are 300 billion stars in the universe and he will believe you. Tell him a bench has wet paint on it and he will have to touch it to be sure.” Statistics have a credible acceptability. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes
An elected representative of our country recently offered a cut-and-dried opinion that a soldier's only role in society is to lay down his life and attain martyrdom. I decided to view his remark in a positive light. During the early '90s, I, as a young column commander, had the opportunity to come to the aid of the civil authorities in the face of unprecedented floods. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
Visits and inspections by VIPs hold a universal enigmatic fear. Since these are few and far between, the impression gathered by the dignitary normally dictates the host's professional future. This is especially pertinent to the army due to obvious fallouts of the sensitive dimension. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
The flight from New Delhi to Vienna was routine, the one connecting to Budapest had us on tenterhooks. It was a propeller-driven mini aircraft, which gave us a feel of visiting the not-so-often patronised eastern and central Europe. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
Greek philosopher and polymath Aristotle described a friend as a single soul dwelling in two bodies. The earliest friend I recollect was one I had in Class 3. An incident still vivid in my memory is that it was raining heavily when I reached school only to find that a holiday had been declared. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
The railways and the army have a pan-India presence. The latter heavily dependent on the former for moving its personnel and equipment both during war and peace and the former for the substantial revenue it earns in the bargain. Both have a profile and a culture that spells unity in diversity. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
Finding a suitable matrimonial match remains a challenge in our society. A popular topic of debate among people, irrespective of their vintage and status in our country, is love vis-a-vis arranged marriage. An arranged one is a gamble and the other one a calculated gamble. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
I opened my eyes to the world and to his adulation. His first vocal reaction gave me my nickname. A person of few words, he mastered the art of setting examples and walking his talk. His actions spoke his intentions. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
Writer Henry Brooke remarked, "A book may be compared to a neighbour: if it be good it cannot last too long; if bad you cannot get rid of it too early." Col Avnish Sharma (retd) wrties.
My mother stressed on the importance of savings. We still recollect her favourite, and at times irritating, sermon: "It is not what you earn and spend, it is what you save that caters to a rainy day." We grew up with this 'rainy day syndrome' often joking about the misplaced roots of the old lady. I still don't remember any drought-like calamity in my maternal lineage. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes
Off-season discounts and sales are a rage. Before the practice started in India, genuine sops on merchandise were accredited to Westerners. The special homecomings of our relations abroad were always eagerly awaited. The reception was an event, but the focus of observation was the hefty suitcases they carried, obviously containing goodies for us. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes
One fondly remembers the popular 70s' flick with the onscreen don Ajit handing over one of his men a half 50-rupee note with the precise brief, "Raabart, Versova taapu par sona lane wale jahaaz se torch ka 'on-off' signal hoga, tum uskaa jawaab 'off-on' se dena. Ek aadmi sona lekar utregaa, woh is note ka doosra hissa tumhe degaa......." Gateways to treasure were novel and imaginative. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.
"Shambhuji, kaisey ho (how are you?)," greeted the roadside toy vendor. Shambhu had ventured with his three children and an expectant wife on a challenging task of six-monthly family shopping and a day out with the family. Past experiences of such jaunts had made him wiser in the art of shopping for clothes and toys for the family. Col Avnish Sharma (retd) writes.