11 June 2017

10th June - My commissioning day by Imran Ahmed Chowdhury

What a great lapse of memory of one of the most memorable day of my life ; 
Just looked at the desk calendar and saw today is 11th June .....
Yesterday was the 10th... 10th June 
34 year ago on this auspicious day as a 22 year old Gentleman Cadet of Bangladesh Military Academy I was Commissioned as a Regular commissioned officer in Bangladesh Army. - Second Lieutenant in The Mighty East Bengal Regiment . ..... A boyhood dream of mine that was since the tremulous days of the March 1971.
It was a dream come true - though the journey was the not rosy at all. How life and luck turns corner...... June 1971 to June 1981.
June 1971 I was living in the refugee camps of India during the war of liberation with no hope - no dream - no aspiration no future - everything looked so bleak and a dead end so it seemed. 
And there I was standing very tall with my shoulders touching those great sons of the soil. Following the footsteps of idols and role models.
The Training of 104 weeks was not the easiest one for someone ever so laid back like me. The training taught me so many unknown things is unreal and till date those are being extensively exploited in the journey of life. An epitome of training - I guess one of the most excruciating of all experience - which haunts me till today. The sheer pace of life was unbearable for me. The idiosyncrasies, pomp, the out of touch teaching at times, the lack of presence of the episode of the liberation war. Nevertheless, it was a landmark of teaching and learning curve for me, which I cherish very vividly yet fondly. 
Liberation war was the time when I became a protestor - due to the fact that I was 11 years old representing my family of 5 in all family matters, welfare, ration, accommodation and all other matters relating our destitute life in the refugee camp and due my age size and stature many older were never appreciated my presence and wanted to exploit my status in the ration cue, water collection point and other community matters - initially I took them sportingly but later realised they are abusing my impediments of age and size - which made me very angry and I started to protest and talk back to establish my right. which i did very vehemently at times and never spared those who take undue advantage on some one younger than them - there was no visible apathy that, My father was fighting the war and My elder brother also joined the war and it was all left to me to run the family affairs. Many a days I came back with an empty sack without any ration as I was shoved and pushed to the end of the cue and by the time i reached the counter there was none left to give me and the ration distribution officer said to come back next morning and he will give me the first preference. But by the time when I came home there was nothing for my mother to cook for us that night. Many a night we slept without food or she managed to cook some broken rice ( infamously known as KHUTH) stew and made do with that. Cannot remember if I have had a full belly meal during our stay in the refugee camp.
All these experiences made me vocal and a non negotiable individual in life. Though I was very docile and amicable and quiet in nature but I could be equally vocal to express the wrong and remind of them off my rights. 
An army institution is not the most cohesive of all places to accommodate those traits - It was their way or highway.
Although, many of the peers were constantly worried if they will ever make it to the commission or not - but It never crossed my mind. 
''I knew I will get commission and I will become a commissioned officer in the Army.''
I was thrilled and I was over the moon. It was an ecstatic moment. 
Yet, yesterday whole day I forgot the most significant day of my life.
How ironic !

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