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Ranks Don't Make Any Difference - Published in Combat Journal 2006-07

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RANKS DON'T MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE

PUBLISHED IN COMBAT JOURNAL 2006-07

Ranks are part and parcel of the armed forces. Heading for higher ranks, as one grows in service, is an ever growing ambition with an army officer. As the rank changes it bestows yet greater responsibility, authority and simultaneously maturity and wisdom also dawns on the officer. This is probably an ever happening and recurring stepping in every organization.

Notwithstanding the rat race and the manifestation that a person makes for it, it actually does not change a person and his basics less for the outer ring of 'touch me not' which is quite superficial; it is visible but actually not there, the difference lies in the outlook of the people around and not in the person they are looking at. The existing environment in the Army is so well seasoned that everybody around automatically starts feeling the difference of the higher rank. The same Capt who used to take lift on young officer's motorcycle appears too big when he is a General officer of the Indian Army. There appears a degree of hesitation in approaching him , though this may be self perceived.

A small incident in life stimulated my feelings and thoughts and that's what I pen down now.

In June 2000, results of promotion board colonel's rank of my husband were awaited. It was an important selection board in career which carried a mix bag of excitement, anxiousness with butterflies in our stomach. My father in law played a guess game with my two and a half year old son; 'wills it be or will it not be? Contemplating on the issue, he asked "will papa become a colonel?" to his disbelief the reply was 'no' once again this guess game was played in a comparatively pleasant moment but my son who is too attached to his papa looked irritated and repeatedly said 'no',' no'. Hopes belied by this young boy caused an unattended and unexpected simmer of distress in the family owing to this foreseen outcome of divine.

Soon the board result came and my husband was through. We were all happy and excited as such happenings always matter in the family. Somebody told my younger son 'Parv, your papa has become a Colonel'. To everybody's surprise the boy looked disappointed, scared and upset. He didn't eat properly nor he did go to play and kept looking at the door with uncertainty and scare of the unknown, he waited anxiously for the door bell to ring and his papa to come. May be, his little mind perceived some frowning pictures of a dragon like figure with horns, long teeth etc. on his papa's face. My husband came back from his office. Parv looked at him from top to bottom and bottom to top; hesitatingly went near him. My husband took him in his arms as usual Parv felt his face with his little hand and the brightness

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