Saturday, June 28, 2008

Play it forever, Sam!

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, the first of only two officers to hold that rank in the Indian Army, died in Wellington (Tamil Nadu, India) early last morning. The 94-year old soldier's soldier had outflanked death at least once before; as a Captain in the Burma campaign during the II World War, he had taken a burst of machine gun bullets to his stomach. His condition was so precarious that he was awarded the Military Cross - that honour is not awarded posthumously - on the battlefield itself. But ever the fighter, he survived and went on to gather several more awards, including the Padma Vibhushan. And beyond all that, he was a man who lived his life to the full, with a smile under his mustache and a twinkle in his eye, whatever the occasion be.

I am unable to think of anything that specifically connects this proud soldier to Chennai - but then, anything to do with the Indian Army must have had something to do with its Field Marshal too. With that reasoning, here's a picture of the gateway to the Officers Training Academy, Chennai. I am sure 'Sam Bahadur' will be glad, because few others can have a better claim to having 'Served with Honour'!


6 comments:

Mo said...

The end of a unique generation.

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Mo>> Can't agree more!

Ravindran said...

Yes he was the first and the only one. He led from the front.

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Ravindran>> Absolutely; he was much more in the public eye than Field Marshal K.M.Kariappa.

Gurooji said...

Nice post, about a great man.
Nice to see that you tried to connect the soldier to Chennai, without giving up for lack of a strong connection:)

Sometimes I don't, sometimes I do said...

>> Gurooji>> Was hoping nobody would notice the slimness of the connection! :D