Image via WikipediaI was posted in Jammu and Kashmir during Indo Pak war in 1965. As an Artillery Officer I was attached with a Dogra Battalion which was a highly decorated unit. The Dogras are known to be very fierce fighters.
The unit was located very close to borders between the two countries and every other day there used to be skirmishes between our troops. Often there used to be raids from the opposing side.
I was posted on a hilltop named Pt. 62 along with infantry officer Capt Anup.
We had to keep a constant vigil round the clock. We were directly overlooking the battalion headquarters.
The danger of sudden raids was so great that even the non combatants were issued weapons and were given a preliminary training in the use of the firearms.
It also created very comic situations at times.
I cannot help recall one such incident in which Rooldoo Ram, the masalchi or 'assistant of the unit cook' kept constantly firing from his trench and was controled after great effort and lot of persuasion by the Subedar Major who belonged to the same village as Rooldoo.
Once on a pitch dark night the sentries sounded a raid alert at 0230 a.m. by blowing whistles and firing from verey light pistols. We as well as the other picquets surrounding the battalion also fired Verey lights.
The whole skyline was abuzz with verey lights and tracer bullets.
Image by Digital Terrorist via Flickr
As per standing instructions by the Adjutant every combatant and non-combatant was to take immediate position or get into the nearest trench and challenge any moving object.
As soon as the raid alert was heard our cook and masalchi Rooldoo Ram left everything and jumped into the nearest trench with there .303 rifle and ammunition. Rooldoo Ram ducked his head and started firing indiscrimnately into the sky and shouting obscenities at the top of his voice.
The raid was repulsed successfully without any casualties apart from some minor injuries sustained due to the melee in the night.
But long after the raid was repulsed Rooldoo Ram was still shouting and hurling invectives at the enemy. He kept firing without listening to anyone. He had become hysterical and it became a problem
Image via Wikipediato pacify him. When every effort had failed, our Subedar Major who belonged to the same village as Rooldoo Ram, started shouting at very high pitch and matching every invective with an even dirtier invective in his native lingo. Rooldoo Ram suddenly stopped shouting and on recognising the voice of Subedar Major he uttered
'' sahabji tussi?'' he came out on the orders of Subedar Major, trembling like a leaf .
Next day he was hauled up and marched upto the Adjutant. The Adjutant handed out a very lenient punishment and let him off with a warning...
We all had a hearty laugh whenever we recalled this very funny incident.