An Article by Guest Author – Sayali Kasare
It was the end of February, I had my evening lectures off. Thus I went in a garden with a friend of mine, but he went for his home soon. I did not want to go home so early, so I decided to go in college so that I’ll find something to spend my time on. As a reached my college gate and went to enter the college campus, a boy in a Cadet’s uniform came in my way and asked me to either go inside and sit or go out of the college. I decided to go inside and found that some event was going to start in the college campus. That’s the day when i got introduced to a great thing called ‘National Cadet Corps’. The event was a celebration called ‘NCC Day’ where the cadets of the college performed all the skills they learnt in their NCC life. I was so impressed by the performance that the same moment I decided to join NCC. I had a friend who was a cadet he gave me a detailed information about NCC and there I was totally ready to join it but, one problem came in – it was my father ! When I asked him about this he did not agree first but after convincing him for almost more than 1 month he finally agreed but we had this contract that I will not let NCC affect my academics as I was appearing for my H.S.C board exams in the same year I joined NCC and he permitted me only one camp a year. ( But I attended 10! )
And the journey began. The first few weeks were the toughest. The punishments which are called ‘ragada’ were so painful that my whole energy level was at its lowest at the end of the day. But you know what’s the best thing in defence field? Its uniform. I was in love with my uniform for the first time when I wore it I had some very different but proud feeling. When I used to come home in my uniform the children in my area used to salute me assuming me as some police officer, which was even wonderful than that.
I attended my very first camp in the same year and got introduced to the Army life for the very first time in my life. I used to hate some rules of NCC like wishing your seniors every time you see them in college because most of my seniors were of my age, some of them were my classmates too, but still I had to wish them. But why this wishing and giving respect is so important – I realized that in next year when I became senior and my juniors came. We the 2nd years cadets had become like the potato in a sandwich, our 3rd year seniors putting pressure on us for improvement and our 1st year juniors making silly mistakes for which we had to face punishment from our seniors for not guiding them correctly. Apart from ragada, NCC gave me one more precious thing ‘a wonderful tour of my nation’. In the three years of NCC, I attended 3 national and one state level camp which gave me a beautiful view of the North-East India, South India and middle of Maharashtra.
This thing called NCC does not only gives you pride and honor, but it helps you to meet yourself. For me, it has been a life changing opportunity to serve in NCC. NCC described the year 2017 to me in just one word ‘congratulations’, The whole year I only heard one word and that was – congratulations. On the Independence day, my college honored me by giving me best cadet medal for the year 2016-17. I got my rank promoted for the first time in history of my college’s NCC, a sergeant to Junior Under Officer. At the end, you don’t get what you wished for but you get what you struggled for. And then came the day when everything was going to become a memory – The NCC Day. On the last command of ‘parade visarjan’, we realized that the journey has reached an end. NCC filled my file with certificates and my heart with wonderful memories. But you know what’s the best thing that I’ve learnt from NCC? – That never ever give up. It introduced me to my real strength, after all you never realize how strong you are until becoming strong is the only option left in front of you ! NCC never told me leave. ‘If you are tired take a break and then start again but don’t quit’, the best lesson NCC has taught me. Something else I would like to add that’s not related to the article but it’s an answer to a few who asked me a question. Once someone ask me when my practice was over that ‘ you people run like dogs, what’s the difference between you and them ?’ I would just like to say one thing ‘yes we run like dogs, but we are not dogs, that’s the difference.
A Comment by the Editorial Team –
Sayali, your way of expressing is very powerful! It takes every Cadet back to their NCC Life. The way you have interpreted the learnings from NCC are excellent. This article gave me intense and continuous Goosebumps, no lies. Keep up the good work and all the best for joining OTA. Make the Nation Proud!