Wednesday, October 8, 2008

They followed us there

Last week, we had taken off to Kerala for a vacation. The early part of the week was at Thiruvananthapuram, almost as far away from Chennai as we could get in Kerala. On September 28, we heard that the 'Army Mela' in the city was closing that day with a grand show of the army 'capturing' Shanghumughom beach. We were a bit late in getting there; by the time we arrived, the drill was done and the beach had been 'liberated' by the army - we only got to read the reports in The Hindu the next day.

Some vehicles, field guns and tanks, however, remained on the beach, for the public to look at, clamber over and generally have fun with. I will bet that any romantic notions of travelling inside an army tank will evaporate very quickly if you sit inside one - even looking inside made me claustrophobic. Many jostled to get inside, sit down and look through the periscope, even for a fleeting second, before having to make way for others. It was fun, still, to get to see such equipment up close.

So what does this have to do with Chennai? Well, the mock capture was staged by soldiers of the Madras Regiment!


Hilda said...

Let's not forget the photo opportunities, LOL! I see a couple of guys on the tank posing for photos. :)

Lumbergh-in-training said...

Hi, just for the record, i think this is the 9th battalion of the Madras Regiment... This was raised at Padmanabhapuram and is now based in Trivandrum I think (i googled a lot and found the same Bharat Rakshak article copied everywhere!!) I think this was raised independent of the Madras Regiment (British Indian Army) and later merged..

Shantaram said...

>> Hilda>> You're right - I had to search hard to find one where my son isn't seen!

>> L-i-T>> You're right; it is the 9th. They were originally called the 'Nair Pattalam'; now they're based in Pangode near Thiruvananthapuram therefore called Pangode Brigade... see this Wikipedia entry