As a part of our training we have what is popularly called ‘Bharat Darshan’. Bharat Darshan is a romantic experience, a part of popular myth among those who have done it, a source of inspiration and fantasy for those who aspire. It is an occasion that takes you across the length and breadth of the country much beyond the tourist circuit – here you get to see how the tribals live, how the villages work, how the army secures the border, how the big MNCs function, and much more, and during these travails you traverse about half of earth’s circumference. The Army Attachment forms part of the Bharat Darshan. During this attachment, you are ‘attached’ with a Army Unit or Division, and you live with them for many days so that you can get a close look at the Defence Forces at work. Here you can live the army life, with its varied hardship and romance, with the bullets and the bazooka, the vodka and the pretty wives of the officers.
Two and a half years back I too had got an opportunity to join the Army. I did not join, hoping to join Civil Service, which I did two years later. As such, I have a love and hate relationship with the Army, and in a haste to justify my decision post facto. Thus, I traversed through the attachment as a critic, finding all the holes in the army fatigue. We had to submit a report on the Army Attachment that was drafted by me. Only today I sneaked into the report and found that it had received an excellent evaluation by the Course Coordinator. Here I am reproducing the critical and analytical part of the report, chucking the descriptive and boring part to escape your viewing displeasure.