Friday, February 29, 2008

Golden jail


Prof Dr Colonel (Retired) K Prabhakar Rao

Life in army is compared to a golden jail
Where finally all are bound to get sick and pale
They go through service of a long cruise
Then come out like a tomato sucked of it’s juice

Thrown off the service at an young age
We expect them to become soon a sage
Outside world that holds them as the great heroes
Now treat them alas! As big zeroes

It is no more a fad to serve the army
Where third rate stuff knock at the doors
Good old army of glorious past
Now reduced to the state of a broken and rotten ship mast

Status of army has dwindled over years
With third rate stuff filling the gaps
Cadre review has filled up higher ranks
As prestige of army received a mighty slap

Poor little cadets in the academy at Dehradun
Are clueless about the fate that awaits them
Youthful years they sacrifice for the nation
Are a sorry lot at end not knowing whom to blame

Merit in army has disappeared into distant wild
And psychos have made it their absolute empire
Running after the perks is the order of the day
While honest are pushed from a pan to the fire

There was a time when the service the prestigious one
Where princes and elite joined it and brought fame
The service today is at the bottom of the job list
Although they put up brave face and make tall claims

The service is like a frog in deep well
Devoid of happenings taking place around them
The leaders have made it sacred and holy cow
Turned into a rubble which was once a gem

The olive greens are misused in civilian life
Where servants put on colonels dress and salute sundry
Civilian jeeps with olive green color imitate army jeeps
As some shady crooks ride them being power hungry

Civilian guys do not prefer army guys
When their daughters are to be married off
They do not mind a dumb and lame duck as bridegroom
As army guys are put aside as a dead stinking calf

The nation has been swindled by some political leaders
With crores of rupees left in foreign accounts and ledgers
Hey roam around free as corruption breeders
As army guys are taken on camel ride by the leaders

Years of effort in army is down the drain and crevice
The moment one is out of the service
The fact is simple and is very plain
Although for some it may cause hiccups and pseudo pain

Prof Dr Colonel ( Retired) K Prabhakar Rao

Sodiers reminascences


Prof Dr Colonel (retired) K Prabhakar Rao

Having gone through decades of marching past
With body and mind thoroughly worn out and lost
It is high time to do thinking on years gone away
After loosing all the former charm and clout on the way

I was in the academy learning the service frills
Where I learnt ‘YES SIR’ and was doing the drill
Precious years have vanished into blue sky
While tired body has shriveled without a cry

Traveled around the country as a spinning top
After every two years non-stop
Traveled in the trains without reservations
And bore the brunt if insults and pain

Slowly and steadily the service was spent
While the soul turned weary and badly bent
Sleepless nights were the order of the day
And has to pass through the inevitable promotion fray

Glorious years of youthful age have passed
While values in service were trespassed
Waited tired to the hilt for the fateful day
To call it a day and be out of the useless fray

While in army the soul had to be shut
Army act causing great hiccups
Mixing with civilians was seen as a crime
Career was like a house devoid of mortar and lime

Risked the life and limbs in course of duty
And lived for the traditions which were mighty
Felt the perils of war with a smiling face
While the country was being managed to bring disgrace

Glorious years of freedom withered away
While those on top made fortune come what may
People’s verdict had no sway
While the leaders conduct was out of the way

Under the name of traditions army has slept
Poor Indians all these years just wept
The army was made a holy cow
Morale of the men was really very low

Scores of scams are the order of the day
Political crooks are all in the fray
Skeletons from cupboards still roll out
And army has no worthy candidates for passing out

Riding an auto was once a taboo in army
And the standards have greatly dwindled day by day
Officers once were to travel only by a car
And liquor however is plenty to flow in a bar

Cadre review has ruined the status of army
And the poor majors go around with heads growing bald and gray
Generals with sword now do duties of former majors
While officers are down the protocol with faded blazers

There was a time when Army had a glorious day
One had to watch today with greatest dismay
The chief was number three in Protocols
And now the generals are pushed aside as punctured footballs

Alas! The soldier is revered only in war
Heroes are held high at the top of altar
God is remembered at time of a crisis
After the war guys are left away from an oasis

Years of effort in army is down the drain
The fact is simple pungent and very plain
Once one is out of service, he is like a rat
Some although knowing blink like a treacherous cat

There is no doubt army is great
Here one has to reconcile to his fate
Yet one has to uphold prestige of the nation
While he withers away eating free ration

Army has to do great introspection
Nothing would come out of routine inspections
All those who are out of service
Would soon perish as a machine devoid of grease

Prof Col ( Retired) Dr K Prabhakar Rao

My Unforgettable moments

My Unforgettable Moments: All in a Game

While I was in the Academy at Dehra Dun decades ago, I was grilled into a British type Army. As Gentlemen Cadets, we were expected to be always in full suit with a hat. While walking on the road, whenever we came across wife of an officer we used to bow to her slightly lifting the hat. By the time I left the Academy, my hat developed a worn-out patch with a hole at the crown and brim. I had to throw away the hat while leaving the Academy. Now-a-days, no one wishes ladies in such a manner. You will be peculiarly looked upon as if you are a Madagaskar Lemur.
While travelling on a bicycle, if you come across an officer, you have to wish him and pay respects by stiffening up and tightening the arms holding the handle. Once or twice, I fell down doing this in Academy as I crashed into another cycle coming from opposite direction. Even after 35 years, my fingers pain occassionally in cold weather while I curse in despair. If you are sitting in a gathering, the group or individual has to pay respects, by stretching hands over your crossed legs and put up a grim face without a smile. After retirement also, I happened to do this when I was sitting in a Saibaba temple. The priest saw this, came to me worried and asked me whether I was suffering from stiffness of joints or convulsions. I was much upset when I heard his words and with great difficulty overcame the age-old practice.
While in the army units, at officers mess we used to attend dinner nights atleast twice a week. In those days, dinner night was attended in olive green bush-shirt with long sleeves rolled down with a cloth belt. After one or two small pegs of drink, we used to go for dinner in British style. We could never have a full meal. Invariably, I used to again swallow bread in my room when I returned. The atmosphere at the table used to be serious as if we sat mourning someone's death. I always hated those dinner nights as I used to go home hungry.
Dinner nights at Military College at Secunderabad were common. During those days, in severe summer, we used to be in white patrols with a closed jodhpuri collar, medals, rank badges etc. We swet like pigs in smouldering heat in the nights. It was more a punishment than a ceremonial function. With hundreds of officers, the halls used to be filled, food used to be served in English fashion with no time to eat. When the Commandant closed his plate, all of us had to also close. Invariably, the senior guys suffered from diabetes, blood pressure or gas trouble. They could hardly eat and used to close the plate too soon. Poor youngsters had to go hungry while plenty of chicken and rolls were wasted. Then, we had to drink a toast in honour of the President. Earlier, wine used to be passed on to the officers across the long table. With increasing morals apparently for outward show, only water used to be passed in decanters to fill wine cups. Then all of us used to drink water as a toast to the President of India. Invariably, the dinner nights were held when some staff members of the College used to go on posting or retirement. After some time, three or four guys from band of Regimental Centre used to go around the room playing bag pipes and in the last used to stand behind senior guys playing the pipes and also swaying in between. This could wake up everyone half dozing or asleep. Finally, the Commandant used to offer two large pegs of neat rum to the head of the pipers and on-the-spot he used to gulp it. After giving a smart salute, the pipers used to go away.
During earlier days, lady wives were not permitted into the mess dining halls and they had to be entertained in ladies room. They could not take food on the dining table along with officers. Now, I find wives of outgoing/retiring senior guys also occupying seats in dining hall during regimental dinner nights along with their husbands. I also find photographs of such occasions in corps journals where lady wives are seen giggling along with their hubbies during dinner nights. Best of luck to the innovators!
- Col Dr K Prabhakar Rao



Prof Dr Colonel (Retired) K Prabhakar Rao

Chetwode building at the Indian Military Academy
Standing imposing at the feet of Himalayan Hills
Inspires cadets to greater heights
Who sadly dream of having greater thrills

The cadet takes oath that he would die
For the cause of his most beloved nation
Welfare of his men would be the next to the country
As his own welfare is the last and gets his rations

All those retired are found in spin and lost
Personal welfare having been put to the last
Years of service in Army is down the drain
And truth is pungent and plain

Mothers and wives of those who died in wars
Cry in despair as leaders enjoy at bars
The leaders visit the families for a moment brief
And leave them to cry in eternal grief

Blood of soldiers has flown down the land
While rich celebrate weddings with police band
Deep in borders the soldiers toil
While Criminals join politics to only spoil

Indian Army with colonial moorings
Very happy with antiquated misgivings
Generals are happy presiding over their empires
And are totally lost when they finally retire

Sword and baton are now in the locker
While in the kitchen the lady is at the stove
Medals and ribbons are hung at last
In fiery world the General battles with his glove
Dr K Prabhakar Rao