JOURNEY TO THE TOP

Every one of us always wants to reach to the top of our professional careers and become the best at what we do. However, many do not reach there. The same applies to our Indian Armed Forces as well!

From a Sepoy to a Marshal, the Indian defense forces are served by millions of brave hearts, serving in different capacities. Their sacrifices and bravery cannot be compensated but it can be recognized.

You would know that officers serve in different capacities in our armed forces. But do you know that there are three ranks across the forces that are seldom conferred? These prestigious ranks are next to impossible to attain, yet are the highest attainable ranks.

So let’s see who were these great men who reached a place which no other man had before!

Indian Army – Field Marshal

The highest rank attainable in the Indian Army is Field Marshal. Ranked as a Five Star General Officer, a Field Marshal is ranked above a General. A Field Marshal’s insignia comprises the national emblem over a crossed baton and saber in a wreath of lotus flowers.

Field Marshals hold their rank for life, there is no retirement and they are considered as serving officers till their death. This also means that they do not draw a pension and are in the pay roll for the rest of their lives. Like other army officers, Field Marshals are required to be in full uniform during any official occasion.

Till date this rank has been conferred on only two individuals. One was Sam Manekshaw, MC. He was known for his bravery, which also earned him the nickname of Sam Bahadur.

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The other was KM Cariappa, OBE who was also the first Indian Commander-in-Chief of the Indian Army.

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Indian Air Force – Marshal of the India Air Force

Equivalent of the Army’s Field Marshal, the highest rank attainable in the air force is the Marshal of the Indian Air Force. It is mostly awarded in a ceremonial capacity. Martial of the Indian Air Forces is ranked immediately above the Chief of Air Staff.

This Five Star rank has been conferred on only one individual till now – Arjan Singh, DFC. With the death of Sam Manekshaw, he is currently the only living defense officer of a five-starred rank in the country.

India is also the only Commonwealth country, besides England, to have conferred this ceremonial rank to an air officer.

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Indian Navy – Admiral of the Fleet

Equivalent of the Army’s Field Marshal and the Air Force’s Marshal of the Indian Air Force, Admiral of the Fleet is the highest attainable rank in the naval force. This Five Star rank is primarily conferred in wartime and honorary capacity.

This rank has never been conferred on any individual in the country.

The highest rank belonging to someone right now is the Chief of the Naval Staff, the office of which is currently being served by Admiral Robin K Dhowan.

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A Corporate Guy And His Epiphany

I woke up at 8 Am.  Almost made it to punch my card at the office at 9. Breakfast, some coding, lunch,few smokes in between and a meeting with my boss about the deadline of my project.  Heavy traffic on the way back home and a date which turned out to be a complete chaos.  I have had a tough day. Now I need a beer which will make me sleep by 2 am so that I wake up in time for tomorrow, which will be pretty much the same.

How often we are cribbing about issues which are so ephemeral and trivial. That pain we feel when we are rejected by an Auto Driver. And work pressure which makes us long for that lovely weekend, every week. And if in case that is taken away from the project leader who makes me work on those two precious days then I am the most miserable person on the planet.  Otherwise my life is cool. I stay in the best area of the city and have visited almost every club around. But somehow I still spend an hour on my mobile before my eyes are shut at night.

This is a life of a common man working in a software industry that dreams of a better hike next march, shares one or two patriotic posts on Facebook, does not vote and hopes for a better economic outlook of the country.

But in his self-centered life he forgets one thing, that someone is sitting on the glaciers at a temperature of -30 degree Celsius, completely isolated from humans, 18 hours  a day so that a corporate person like him can have the life he aspires.

The Viral Fever, powered by hero has come up with a new video to showcase the difference between a soldier’s life and a corporate life. The video starts with a simple one liner “Tribute to our real heroes. Our soldiers” and has been viewed over a million times on Youtube.

The video shows how ManoharVirani, a man from the corporate world visits an army post and talks to Ram Patil, who is a soldier in the Indian Army.

The video points out some stereotypes in our thought process.  Our minds are so dramatized by Bollywood that every time we think of a communication with a soldier, we think of soldiers singing ‘Sandeseaatehai’ from the movie “Border”

The video also tries to show how work culture in the Army is different from that of the corporate world. Soldiers are trained to be motivated to do anything for the country without any patriotic songs being played at the background like they show in movies or be patiently looking through the gun at enemy’s movements even when their “boss” is not around.

It also shows how they are trained to be mentally and physically strong. An instance when soldiers are calm while  there is a ceasefire violation and  Manohar is so terrified by the noise of bombings that he controls his pee for almost entire day. That is being compared to how a tough life we have outside when we don’t find an Auto while going to the office.

The video ends with pictures of our real heroes on the battlefield and with the text #Hero Salutes

How often we are busy in our own life that we forget how  are we breathing this free air. How often we read news in the newspapers middle page that a soldier was martyred and neglect as if it is the most common thing that has ever happened. Remember that soldier has given his life so that you live peacefully.

We at udChalo appreciate TVF for this great video and thank our soldiers for their sacrifices

Breaking Records by building bridges

Baily Bridge

When someone tries to find this mesmerizing bridge on the internet, they usually end up on a page that explains the concept of the ‘Bailey Bridge’ instead of giving information of this beautiful work of art knows as ‘Baily Bridge.’

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Wondering why we have chosen this bridge in particular for today’s blog?

The craftsmen of this wonderful bridge are none other than our soldiers from the Indian Army!

Now let’s see what we all can and should know about one of the most beautifully constructed bridges in the world!

The Baily Bridge, we can claim proudly, is the bridge at the highest elevation in the world. This bridge is located in the Himalayan Mountains along the Dras River and Suru River. It is present in the Ladakh Valley in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. It is 30 meters (98 feet) long and is at an altitude of 5,602 meters (18,379 feet) above the mean sea level.

Ironically, it is a bailey bridge. It was built in 1982 by the Indian Army.

A Bailey bridge is a portable pre-fabricated truss bridge, designed for use by military engineering units to bridge up to 60 m (200 feet) gaps. It requires no special tools or heavy equipment for construction, the bridge elements are small enough to be carried in trucks, and the bridge is strong enough to carry tanks.

In fact, its designer, Donald Bailey, worked for the British War Office during the Second World War when he proposed the design, the first of which was used in the North Africa campaign in 1942.

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They are a bit noisy when you drive over them but they are very stable. There isn’t much traffic here as it’s almost at the end of a valley. Cars, trucks and even tanks can easily pass through them.

But that’s not all, our army will be building one such ‘Bailey bridge’ once again in Kerala!

As the renovation of the recently damaged Enathu bridge would take time, the government of India has sought the support of Army to construct a Bailey bridge parallel to the existing bridge to ease the hardships of commuters. A team of army officials inspected the site recently and suggested necessary measures.

What’s amazing is that the Indian Army is expected to construct the bridge within a month!

So what are you waiting for? Travel to Kerala to see this amazing sight or to Ladakh and see the highest bridge in the world built by our very own warriors!

 

 

 

8 outcomes of FAUJI parenting

  1. Being truly secular

There are different places of worship all within the same vicinity, and you visit these places without any bondage of a religion. You celebrate all festivals and treat all cultures, beliefs and religions with the same respect.

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  1. New meaning to long distance relationships

Your serving  father/mother  has to stay away usually for long periods of time in places with poor internet or mobile connectivity. And you constantly fear for their well-being but continue with your daily routine. You have seen your parents being strong for you even when one of them is in a high tension area. That is the kind of love we aspire for.

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  1. Traveler at heart

You have travelled to beautiful undiscovered  locations which Hipster travelers today only aspire to visit, all thanks to your Fauji parents postings. And even after you grow up you remain a traveler at heart.

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  1. Champion at packing

Your mothers plants, crystal crockery, car, dog everything is on the list to be loaded into a truck and sent of all the way from Jammu to Dimapur. So by the time you are packing for college you are already a pro.

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  1. Outstanding storyteller

You grow up hearing great stories from your parents about “when I was posted in Siachen or the time when we were rescuing during the Assam floods” etc. You become a great story-teller yourself fascinating people with your adventurous childhood stories growing up as a Fauji Kid.

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  1. Being great at parties

While a lot of people start partying when they go to college you have been doing it every week since you were a child. Even in the most obscure locations you will have Tambola nights and lots of parties (some your parents have to drag you to). So by the time you grow up you are a natural at being an ace at parties.

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  1. Adjusting in new environments

From shifting houses, schools to towns you have done it all. Sigh…..The heart break of your best friends dad getting posted out. But shifting to a new class in the middle of a semester is never easy unless you have mom and dad helping you copy notes.

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     8. A sports person for life

You have the opportunity to learn a lot of sports like horse riding ,golf, swimming etc and have big open areas for your adventures. The obstacle course near your house is where you go to play every evening. 

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Please share your experiences in the comments below and tell us about your experiences of fauji parenthood. We are sure there must be many many more.

Time to retire!! A few Cheetah crashes in the past 10 years

The recent news about the Cheetah crash near Sukhna in West Bengal killing 3 Army Officers and and injuring a JCO brought into memory various times we have heard similar news. It also brings to mind the numerous times we have heard that these helicopters need to be replaced.

In 2007 Defence Minister A K Antony had said “government proposes to withdraw Chetak and Cheetah helicopters from the Army, because the existing fleet of helicopters is of 1960s and 1970s vintage and hence, inadequate for the present operational requirement of the Indian Army”. And yet we are still using these machines.

Take a look at a few Cheetah crashes in the past years:

1. Nov 30th. 2016

An army helicopter has reportedly crashed at Sukna Military Camp in West Bengal around 11.45 am Wednesday morning, killing three officers and leaving one junior commissioned officer critically injured.

2. March 11, 2016

An Indian Army helicopter crash landed in Hoshiarpur district’s Maili village after it developed a technical snag. Two of the four crew members on board were injured in the mishap.

3. Feb 3 rd. 2015

An Indian Army’s Cheetah helicopter crashed at Dimapur helipad in Nagaland during its routine sortie.

4. Oct 1, 2014

The Cheetah copter, which belonged to the Army’s aviation unit in Bareilly, crashed in Bhartaul village along the Nakatia river. Major Abhijit Thapa (29), Captain Avinash Kumar (26) and flight engineer Major Vikas Baryani (29) were declared brought dead at the military hospital in Bareilly.

5. March 5, 2013

A naval helicopter, with four personnel on board, crashed off the Vishakhapatnam harbour.Two crew members out of the four died.The Chetak helicopter crashed during a routine training sortie

6. May 23rd, 2012

The pilot of a Cheetah helicopter of the Army Aviation was killed while his co-pilot got injured when it crashed in Siachen glacier.

7. August 18, 2010

Cheetah, on a routine sortie between Dimapur and Limakong. The two pilots — Major Rakesh Sharma and Major Nikhil Prakash of the Army Aviation Corps — and passenger Colonel B P Pal of EME, died in the crash.

8. September 11 , 2010

IAF lost a Cheetah in Jharkhand

9. Nov 08th, 2010

One IAF Cheetah helicopter crash landed in Siachen Glacier region on November 8, 2010. The helicopter took off from the Base Camp for a routine air maintenance sortie in Siachen Glacier region. Luckily both pilots survived. Another Cheetah crash was reported in the glacier in April 2007.

10. Oct 29th, 2004

Cheetah helicopter took off from the Bareilly base on a routine “recee mission” but lost air contact and crashed killing Major General D.P. Singh, his aide Lt-Col B.K. Pande and the pilot Captain Arjun Sardana near the Sino-Indian border.

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Wives of Army Officers had represented to the Government for replacement of Cheetah and Chetak helicopters to avoid casualties and a petition was submitted last year.

The Army has been trying to replace the Cheetah helicopters from the 70’s for a long time.

In Oct this year India and Russia signed a deal to jointly produce 200 Kamov Ka-226T helicopters, at the India Russia Summit in Goa. The helicopters are believed to boost the capabilities of the armed forces and replace the ageing cheetah chopper fleet.

We hope we can see the Ka-226T production soon. But soon will never be soon enough considering the precious lives we have lost over the years.

Quality equipment for the Armed Forces should be a priority.Seems unbelievable that we are risking the lives of our soldiers at the hands of faulty equipment.

FYI : A list of the most capable military transport chopper around the world.

9 Wonderful Places To Visit In Mysore That Are Unforgettable

Mysore used to be the the capital city of the Kingdom of Mysore from 1399 until 1947. Such a history has left behind some brilliant architectural structures and a rich cultural heritage in this city that attracts tourists in large numbers. And it’s not just history, the beautiful presence of nature also makes Mysore an awesome getaway destination.

Here are 9 wonderful places in Mysore you can’t afford to miss.

1). Somnathpur Temple

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Dating back to 1268 the Somnathpur Temple has Lord Keshava-an incarnation of Lord Krishna as the main deity. It is one of the many temples built under the reign of King Narasimha the third.

More significantly (from a contemporary viewpoint) it’s the last one still standing from among those temples.

The structural brilliance is the perfect example of meticulous carfstmanship that’s the hallmark of erstwhile Indian architecture.


2). Sand Sculpture Museum

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Stunning examples of sand sculpture are at display in the Mysore Sand Sculpture Museum.

Whether they feature fantastical creatures or real characters like Tipu Sultan, the artworks are something to watch.


 

3). The Maharaja’s Palace

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Also known as Amba Vilas the Maharaja’s Palace is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Mysore. The Palace belonged to the Wodeyar maharajas but it caught fire in 1897.

However, an English architect restored the palace in the early 20th century. With it’s brilliant array of stained-glass windows, glittering mosaic floors and paintings from the Edwardian Raj era, the palace is a feast for the eyes.


 

4). Avadhoota Datta Peetham

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An ashram founded by Sri Ganapathy Sachchidananda Swamiji, the Abadoota Datta Peetham promotes meditation, yoga and communal prayers.

Even if you don’t partake in any of the activities in the ashram, there’s still a good enough reason to visit- the bonsai garden and the bird sanctuary inside the ashram premises make for a great place to take an easy stroll with your loved ones.


 

5). Chamundi Hill Nandi Statue

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The 350 year old statue of Nandi the bull that’s carved from a giant black granite boulder is situated at the foot of the Chamundi Hil.

According to Hindu belief, Nandi is the vehicle of Lord Shiva, and the statue is located near a shrine of Lord Shiva.


 

6). Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens

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A part of the Mysore Zoo, the Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens is the perfect place to spend some quality time with your family when you’re in Mysore.

With a wide array of animals and an extremely serene ambience, this is one place where communing with nature is at its best.


 

7). Namdroling Nyingmapa Monastery

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This beautiful Buddhist ashram is situated amidst Bylakuppe’s sandal groves. A brilliant structure that features colourful Buddhist artworks, the monastery was founded by His Holiness Pema Norbu Rinpoche and was sanctified by the Dalai Lama.

At present, the monastery is home to almost 5,000 Buddhist monks and nuns.


 

8). Sri Chamundeswari Temple

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Standing tall at 3,500 feet above the summit of Chamundi Hill, the temple is an architectural marvel. The intricately carved-stone structure that serves as the entrance gateway is 100 feet tall.

And that’s just the beginning of the beauty that’s in store for you. Also, from this height you can enjoy a spectacular view of Mysore.


9). St. Philomena’s Church

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Built in 1956, St.Philomena’s Church is 175 feet high.

One of the oldest Indian churches that’s designed in the neo-Gothic style inspired by the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, the church is a magnificent edifice complete with Biblical events depicted on stained-glass windows.


 

Make your visit to the royal city memorable by checking out these beautiful places in Mysore.

 

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