When Rohan was in 4th grade, he saw his maternal uncle, who was a Major in the Indian Army in his uniform, and since then his la-affair with defense began. Though his father was also in the Indian Air Force, but his maternal uncle was among the higher rung of officers in the Indian Army and that fascinated him a lot. Rohan spoke to his parents about his feelings to get into the Army and it was warmly welcomed by his family. Finally, the family decided that Rohan should follow his maternal uncle's footstep and he should prepare for the entrance examination for one of the prestigious residential school in India called "The Sainik School" ( Sainik means the Soldier). Rohan's maternal uncle was a product of the Sainik School Kunjpura Karnal (in Haryana, India), which was one of the leading Sainik School of India out of the 18 such schools throughout the country.
The Sainik Schools are a group of schools in India established by the Sainik School Society, and conceived in 1961 by the then Defense Minister of India, to rectify the regional and class imbalance amongst the Officer cadre of the Indian Army, and to prepare students for entry into the National Defense Academy (NDA), Khadakwasla, Pune and Indian Navy Academy. Today there are over 24 such schools covering all the states of the country.The schools come under the purview of respective state governments and Ministry Of Defense India. The admissions start from the 6th Grade, and Rohan was very clear that he wants to get into it. Rohan did not want to leave any stone unturned for his preparation of the entrance examination to be held in next 3 months, so his family decided that Rohan should join the preparatory school for the entrance exam at his grandpa's (Rohan's mother's father) place. Rohan packed his bag and left for his grandpa's home. Rohan used to go to the classes early morning after the breakfast at 9.00am and come back in the evening at 5.30pm. After coming back, there would be two more sessions of studies before calling it a day. Pretty much for all three months Rohan had the same schedule, sometime he would feel tired and sick of studying but he used to visualize the uniform of Indian Army and that was like an energy tonic to him, he will be back to his studies in a flash. Finally, the day of entrance examination arrived, and Rohan did well to qualify for the personal interviews and the medical tests.
Rohan was really happy to qualify the major hurdle i.e. the written test and now he was even more excited as he got the opportunity to go to the school for the personal interview and the medical test. Rohan left for the personal interview with his father to the Sainik School Kunjpura Karnal. It was a long journey by road from his hometown Gurgaon to Karnal, somewhere around 5 hours but throughout the journey, he was just imagining all the dreams of him being an Army Officer. Rohan and his father reached the Sainik School before the time but it was such a pleasant site for Rohan to see the school's fort like building that he didn't mind waiting for his turn for the interview. The big playgrounds, the greenery and the huge school premises were simply mesmerizing. It was love at first site for Rohan. He gave the interviews and the medical tests, and came back late night with his father to the home. After 3 weeks, he received a letter from the Sainik School Kunjpura Karnal with the joining date and the list of items that he needs to pack for the school. It was one of the most cherished moment of Rohan's life. Finally, his dreams were changing into reality and he was about to reach the place where he wanted to be. His family was equally proud of its son, after all the kid had done what no one had done before in the whole residential colony.
(Will Be Continued).............