-By Brigadier Sandeep Thapare(Retd)
The capability of a Sikh soldier in getting any job done never ceased to amaze me during my service years. The most common response to any assigned task was “Ho Jauga, saab(Will be done Sir).” Summers were unbearably hot, which by interrupted power supply (the state generated surplus electricity) reached to their extreme. Amidst this crazy commotion, our battalion got the worst responsibility of making arrangements for the stay of Army Commander during the Command Environmental Week. He was supposed to be lodged at an Inspection Bungalow (IB) of MES.
Everything was perfect till the commander visited the bathroom one day before and while washing his hands found that the tap water was hot. “Can we do something about this?”, he enquired. The CO looked at me enquiringly and said, “Fix it.” This was next to impossible as the water storage tank was at the top of the building under the direct sunlight. I was furiously trying to figure out how to address it till my JCO asked, “Saab, any problem.” I told him the situation. He thought for a moment and said, “Ho jauga, saab.”
The Army Commander’s visit carried on smoothly. “How did you manage room temperature in the tap water in this heat?”, my CO asked me after the visit. He was reeling with laughter when I narrated the way in which he had managed the task. The JCO had deployed two NCOs next to tank at the top of the top of the building, with a temperature measuring instrument, a big slab of ice broken into 1-kg pieces, and a scoop. Those poor chaps had to scoop water out of the tank, check temperature, and drop an appropriate amount of ice after every hour till the next round.
(The author wishes to withhold names of commanders as the first one went on to become the Chief and the second one a renowned army commander.)