Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Sting Operation

This episode occurred during my Army tenure at Jalandhar sometime between 1984 and1986. I was supervising the training of our troops in the training area of our unit. It was a vast grassy field spread over a few acres with lots of trees providing adequate shade. There were a number of squad posts where the troops got their daily training in various skills as per the operational role of their sub units. 

There is a famous saying that the busiest troops are the happiest ones. Therefore, when they are not fighting, they are training, which not only keeps them busy, but also sharpens their skills in their respective fields. And one has to sweat more in peace, to bleed less in war.

After visiting a number of training squad posts, I decided to sit near one of them under the shade of a big 'sheesham' tree, around which a platform made of bricks had been built by jawans of the unit. As I was watching the actions of the Havildar Instructor who was taking a class of jawans on how to dismantle and re-assemble a particular weapon, a bright yellow colored wasp came and started hovering over one of the toes of my DMS boot. There are some insects that one will always like to keep away from and as the wasp falls in that category so, I jerked it away and as it fell on the soft muddy ground, I stumped it with my boots and forgot about it. Just then two more officers from our unit joined me and we all got busy in observing the training session.

After a while, suddenly, I felt as if some one had hit me at inner side of my thigh with a sharp knife. I jumped up with pain. The other officers were taken aback and rushed to my help. As I held my thigh at that spot, I could feel the presence of some small little object inside my pants sticking to the flesh on my inner thigh. I pressed it hard with between my fingers and thumb and there was a sound of something getting crushed. I jerked my leg hard so that the crushed object could fall out. Yes, it fell out from the bottom of my trousers and lo and behold, there it was, the same wasp that I had stumped some time back under my boots.

The Army DMS (directly molded sole) boots have deep grooves in the rubber sole which help to maintain grip while running or walking on difficult terrains, even in adverse weather conditions. It so happened that when I stumped the wasp it got stuck in one of the grooves which saved its life. It came out from under the sole and silently crept up in side my trousers and climbed as high as it could. It might have been heading for the 'ultimate target', where it would have hurt me the most but luckily due to the tightness of the pants at the thigh level it could not advance further and decided to strike with full force at that spot. Though the insect ultimately sacrificed its life, but not before carrying out a silent sting operation on me. That day in the unit training area, I learnt a great lesson that "if you leave your enemy injured, keep an eye on him, it may strike deeper than the previous target". So better kill your enemy than merely leaving him injured.


This post also forms part of the series of posts on my life's journey. To read all the psots in that series please click here.



65 comments:

CY|\|O$|_|RE said...

lolzzzz..........next time be careful......:P

Sneha said...

A well learned lesson that will payback for life.

BK Chowla, said...

The title must have come from a true Fauji

Renu said...

True..even while watching bollywoof, feel so frustrated when hero leaves the villain injured:)

Balvinder Singh said...

CYNOSYRE, yes i have been extremely careful right from that day onwards.

Sneha, yes very well learnt lesson and a harder but practical way.

Mr. Chowla, yes the title is truly fauji in letter and spirit.


Renu, yes in the bollywood movies every thing happens at the directions of the director. welcome back after a long absence.

Madhu said...

Sorry to hear about the pain. Thank God it didnt/couldnt advance...Kidding.

Balvinder, I am going to request you something. If possible, please honor it.
I was watching news this morning and felt sick in my stomach. It was about Kasab. Justice delayed is justice denied they say...in this case it was denied. Even though he is going to get a death sentence, he still has the chance to appeal (which most probably he will) to high court, supreme court and then to the President.

As someone from the army, how do you feel about this? Day and night there are people who are keeping their lives at stake for the country and then when someone like Kasab gets caught, we wait years for justice.

J P Joshi said...

Good one.....thank God for tight pants!

Indyeah said...

LOL!! What a title and what a story to explain it Sir. :D
Fortunate indeed.

Balvinder Singh said...

Yes JP, God and my tight pants saved me from severe damage.

Abhilasha, yes i was fortunate enough to kill the enemy and stopped its further advance.

Balvinder Singh said...

Madhu, i get equally disgusted at the delay of meting out punishment to the person who has taken so many innocent lives ruthlessly. S/He does not deserve any mercy and his or her mercy pettition should be summarily dismiised bearing in mind his or her crime. And it is learnt that our President takes on month to dispose off one file of mercy pettition. So if Kasab is number 51st in the waiting list his file may take almost five years to come come up before the President. That is disgusting not only for the near and dear of those who were killed but also for logically thinking citizens like you and me.

Shas said...

When i read the title first i thought probably you intend kill the enemy instantly and be merciful to him by doing so rather than make the enemy bleed to death slowly or leave him half-dead which is worse than lying dead.
But it was completely different to what i had imagined. It made a good read and the point was well put across.
Happy blogging!!!

How do we know said...

wow! what a lesson!

Balvinder Singh said...

Shas, yes you are also right in saying that kill the enemy as fast as you can so that he does not get tortured for long, but i think the ruthless enemies who take innocent lives do not deserve any mercy and their execution should act as examples for others. Yes here the context was different but the lesson , universal. Thanks for compliments

Balvinder Singh said...

HDWK thanks. yes sometimes small incidents in life can bring out great lessons.

Madhu said...

Lessons learnt eh? Good to have you back.

Roshmi Sinha said...

A nice read...

"That day in the unit training area, I learnt a great lesson that "if you leave your enemy injured, keep an eye on him, it may strike deeper than the previous target". So better kill your enemy than merely leaving him injured."

... This has been one of the teachings of the great Chanakya. His philosophy was: "A debt should be paid off till the last penny; An enemy should be destroyed without a trace."

Balvinder Singh said...

Roshmi, yes, centuries old words uttered by great men are valid for ever and can be applied to similar situations any time. Thanks for the visit and the response.
Also thanks for giving very valuable information on my post "BBD Baug Calcutta"

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