Many aspiring candidates after approval by the Inter-Services Selection (I.S.S.B) having no previous roots in the army, consider themselves to be an officer, and the training period to be a mere formality, wearing the uniform with badges just a matter of time. But the maiden entrance in almost all of the world-renowned army academies itself is an eye opener, where most aspirants have often seen literally cursing their decision of joining the armed forces. There exist certain time-tested methods/tactics to really shake new entrants, with the aim to gauge/analyze their nerve, psychological as well as physical reflexes in the face of sudden mental and physical stress and strain, besides apparently sheer humiliation.

It was totally a new world, once I entered my first time in the academy because after the initial formality of filling up some forms in the office, I entered all together in a different world. The uniformed staff took no time making us understand, what front roll, frog jumps, side roll, legs up, shoot to touch some object and getting back etcetera. Don’t know what was going on within the minds and bodies of my fellow colleagues, who were partners in this reception. Can only narrate my own condition, because being the very first in my family to join the army, was utterly, in fact, call it as criminally unaware, blank what the reception, punishment, seniors and staff meant. Within half an hour, in spite of a cold evening in Jan, my clothes were wet with excessive perspiration, my tongue dries due to acute thirst and surely my heartbeat at that time should be crossing double the speed per second. Still remember, my topmost and only longing was to jump in the water of the spillway passing through one side of the academy, about two hundred feet deep. Seeing the blue running water felt an extreme solace, just assuming it to be cool. So after about an hour’s introduction with the staff, we were directed towards the main building of the academy. Meanwhile what my eyes could observe was, somewhat amusing as well as frightening. There were two types of groups, one in khaki uniforms, the other in overalls, the striking difference was the role of the latter group, they were shouting something at the top of their voice and frog jumping, at another place there were cadets standing along the wall with a little difference, their legs upside down, a group was observed running like in 100 meters race etcetera. To be very honest, I felt to be a newly born opening his eyes first time in the new world. In a very short span of time, heard so many new and unique words, phrases, and sentences with altogether different meanings and pros and cons.

The first night and numerous other nights of the academy were not only adventurous, thrilling and absorbing but opened my eyes to know and learn the most powerful and strange side of humans.      

By Hamid Mahmood

A Veteran, Ex Principal, Author, Blog/Content Creator, Former Security Consultant, and Trainer. Education: Master in Political Science, LLB, PGD (HRM) A down-to-earth personality believes in Humanity, Tolerance, Co-Existence (Live n Let Live), Peace, Harmony, Tranquility, Loves Nature, (Children, Poetry, Birds, Flowers, Plants, Greenery, ) Have seen most areas of Pakistan from the Azad Kashmir mountains to the deserts of Sind, Punjab, the lush green tops of KP, the rugged hilltops of Baluchistan, hustle bustle of Karachi, so I truly believe Pakistan is one of the most beautiful land on planet earth.

3 thoughts on “The Reception”
  1. Ma Sha Allah it was pleasure reading ur all write ups thought u r narrating my first day in academy. Bhuttos regime martial law another good writing as I’m myself a sugar patient enjoyed the article. In nut shell good effort keep it up am really happy 😃. Never knew this aspect of ur otherwise very fine personality this is yet another feather in the cap 👏🏻🌹

    1. جزاک اللہ خیرا کثیرا ٓاغا جی
      I would have loved listening from the horse’s mouth. You know this is the time to recollect, write down and cherish your memories. That’s why I have invited Veterans from all over the world to share their memories.
      I am anyway looking forward to having some beautiful contributions from my lovely Pl mate.

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