Corps of Signals 100th Anniversary
1911 - 2011

Photographs and Report on 14th Reunion at Jablapur: 13- 15 Feb 2011

Thursday, 3 March 2011

What a Homecoming! Asha Uberoy

The Emotional Quotient
When I was initiated into the army, or, to be more exact, into the Corps of Signals more than 40 years ago, the atmosphere was all very correct and proper. The functions, the priorities even the vocabulary was different. In some ways it was more formal and emotionless. We never had official instances where God was invoked or patriotism was stroked. It must be the colonial influence. After all, the Britishers were not supposed to have great patriotic feelings or love for the country. Nor could they promote the same among the soldiers.
After my husband's retirement our contact with day to day army life had became a long lost dream. But an invitation to the Signals corps 100th anniversary celebrations at STC Jabalpur was a return to that dream. And what a homecoming!

The three day celebrations were magnificient!. Everything was well planned and executed. The programmes were stupendous. The speeches stirring! The time capsule was one great leap into the future The museum dripped with stirring history. The passing out parade was superb! Kadam kadam badaye ja brought tears to our eyes. The band display and the musicals were meticulously planned and executed.

The mountain eagles enthralled us with their heroics. If they can be so brave in peace, imagine what their potential can be during war. The dare devils on their motorbikes were, as always, simply awesome. The adventure sports thrilling .The display of martial arts and kalaripayattu was impressive. The band concert was soul touching. The commemoration ceremony and the girls hostel inauguration were pride inspiring. The cultural programme brought in glamour and entertainment. The AWWA function was one of the best we have seen. Talents overflowed in all directions leaving us all feeling warm hearted and proud to be part of such a great institution.

But what struck me most was the essentials of patriotic feeling that prevailed upon the whole atmosphere. This was a new thing for us old timers. Every speech, every action was full of it. In a situation where the past, present and future were meeting sentiments were bound to run high but here love for our country was a predominant feature. There was nostalgia, on one hand combined with a very high content of pride and inspiration. Braving old age problems with a high sense of bravado and spirit, the old timers held up their side of the fort. Talking to them was fascinating. They were steeped in recollections and every story was rich in content. In fact everyone was a history book in himself. But there was also the additional fire of loyalty and pride which was unabashed. It made everyone feel young and transported back in time.! Matangi Gowrishanker who accompanied her mother Mrs Gowrishanker said she felt like a six year old! What else can describe the euphoria better?

Actually, talking to the youngsters was like opening a fresh page in life. What a wonderful exposure for them and how inspiring. One could see the dreams in their eyes. We all knew that if we can look back with pride we can look forward with hope.

The whole experience was rich and wonderful. It made me realize what makes a good soldier, what makes a great technical corp, what makes a great army and what makes a great country.
On a lighter note:
We travelled by train to and fro which brought back other memories. Also a recall of a joke about the time (1909) when there were no toilets in trains. A traveller wrote in the complaint book:
"Just as I was doing the nuisance, that guard making whistle blow for train to go off and I am running with lotah in one hand and dhoti in the other when I fall over and expose all my shocking to man and woman on the platform..."
Mrs Asha Uberoy
Former Senior Social Scientist CSIR, wife of Brig DK Uberoy

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