I had always wanted to be an army officer even as a kid as far back as my childhood memory goes. Being an army kid, I suppose, that was the most appropriate desire of a young child. Seeing “Bhaiyya” (helper) in a house who used to take me to the school, shining and clicking boots made a long lasting impression in a young mind.
My mom, my younger brother and I tagged along with our father wherever he was posted. But finally settled in a place called Kotdwara in Garhwal hills where my mom had inherited huge immovable assets in the form of land, after my dad retired from the army. That was way back in 1956. I was studying in 4th standard in the school in a place called Dera Baba Nanak in Punjab when we moved to the new place.
Young mind quickly adopted and adjusted to new environs of totally different cultures: Punjabi and Garhwali. But somehow my inner soul was not accepting the change. It had its own apprehensions, flaws and directions. But one thing remained strong in the heart and that was the desire to be an officer in the army and go out of this place.
Young kid was growing fast as adolescent in a quaint village with no guidance or any resources to fulfil his childhood dream. He was getting wayward with his group of friends.
But suddenly one night when I was with my friends going to some place, I was jolted with a rude shock and brought back to my childhood aspiration of becoming an army officer. That night I was bitten by a snake. My friends panicked but ensured that I reach to a medical help.
I was losing my consciousness and being engulfed with poisoned induced sleep. My friends saw me dying en route to the hospital, but I was sure of not dying in my half asleep mind just because of one thing. And that was that how can I die now? I have not become an officer in the Indian army as yet. How can I die?
I did not die and became an officer in the India army in Jun 1968.
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