Chandigarh: In a reunion that revived ties that stretched back nearly six decades, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hosted his batch mates from the National Defence Academy (NDA) for a rare dinner.
Shedding distance and time, the 57 batch mates of the chief minister from NDA Khadakwasla came together to recall shared memories and experiences of their days in training for the defence services and the years gone by.
The reunion yesterday also gave the men an opportunity to catch up with each other, as they went on a spree of discovery about their years post service stints, a release issued today by the chief minister's office said in Chandigarh.
For a few hours, the men, who later went on to join different wings of the Indian defence forces, were back to being the young boys who had committed themselves to the service of the motherland, the release said.
Having grown up seeing the uniform, and enamoured with arms since his childhood, the 75-year-old chief minister said joining the Army and serving the country was the only life he had dreamt of.
The 58 men talked animatedly about the stringent tests followed by tough training, before they could don their uniforms.
Amarinder Singh, who chose to wear the olive green, distinctly remembered the moment when, in July 1959, he joined the George (now Delta) Squadron at NDA, located on the banks of the serene Lake Khadakwasla.
His batch mates remembered Amarinder Singh as a distinguished cadet, who captained the riding and polo team at NDA. Amarinder Singh was commissioned into the Indian Army in 1963 and was posted to the 2nd Battalion, the Sikh Regiment - a battalion in which his father and grandfather had served with distinction before him.
On the occasion, Amarinder Singh released a book "Tryst with Perfidy", authored by Lt Gen Kamal Davar, former chief of Defence Intelligence Agency.
Among those who joined the get-together were retired Lt Generals G S Sihota, B M Kapur, Natarajan, Prakash Suri and Naryain Chatterjee.