Gems from Field Marshal Sam Bahadur (Humor)

Discussion in 'Members Club' started by Ganguly, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. Ganguly

    Ganguly BANNED

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    In November 1971, when we were awaiting orders from the government, Manekshaw addressed a huge gathering of soldiers all keyed up to advance into Pakistan. He very forcefully stressed that we must treat all women in Pakistan with great respect and consideration. In the middle of his address, he suddenly pointed to a burly soldier of the Sikh Light Infantry, "O, tera dhiyan kithe wey! Yad rakhin Pakistan vich sarian zenanian terian Mawan te bhainan hon gian!" (Hey, what are you thinking of! Remember to treat all women in Pakistan like your mother and sisters). The impact was instant and electric, and the message went home.

    Manekshaw also re-emphasised the dignity of soldiering in the corridors of power in New Delhi. On a rather warm day the Defence Secretary , Harish Sarin, a very powerful civil servant, upon entering the Ministry’s conference room said to a Colonel sitting close to a window, "You there, open that window!" Before the Colonel could get up came a sharp "Sit down" came from Manekshaw, who had also just entered from another door. Turning to the Secretary, he said, "Mr. Secretary, don’t you ever address one of my officers in that tone of voice. You may say, "Sam, would you please open that window, and I will open the window for you. That officer is a Colonel, and not ‘You there’."

    The Field Marshal's wit was legendary. Once on a visit to his unit as Commanding Officer he asked what action was taken against a man who contracted veneral disease and when he was told the man's head was shaved off, he roared. "Shaved off?
    Dammit. he didn't do it with his head."

    ‘I wonder whether those of our political masters who have been put in charge of the defence of the country can distinguish a mortar from a motor, a gun from a howitzer, a guerrilla from a gorilla – although a great many of them in the past have resembled the latter’.

    The keynote speaker made an adulatory speech in Hindi, which went on thus: “We have in our midst today a soldier whose very name is synonymous with valour. He makes us remember Rana Pratap, Jhansi ki Rani and the gallant Shivaji, whose deeds form our national heritage. When we hear him speak, blood courses through our veins with great speed….”
    Manekshaw also made his speech in Hindi, quipping: “I have only one request. Could I have an English translation of the speech I just heard? I want to give it to my wife. Whenever I tell her that I am a big man, a great man, she does not even listen. Perhaps after reading this, she will believe me!” Predictably, he brought the house down, and the ovation continued. Later, he was to joke that life had ordained that he obey two women all his life – his wife at home and Prime Minister Indira Gandhi at work.

    Manekshaw was a flamboyant soldier who combined the best of the British tradition that he was groomed in and the distinctively Indian ethos that he was born into. Many tales abound about his special relationship with Indira Gandhi, including the “I am always ready, sweetie” response. He said he could not bring himself to call Mrs Gandhi "Madame", because it reminded him of a bawdy-house.To her credit, Indira Gandhi enjoyed this gentle sparring with an Army general who could tell her with a naughty twinkle in his eye, without transgressing certain lines of politico-military propriety, that she looked beautiful.

    A lady asked him to dance in a party. He readily accepts. When they were walking to the dance floor he says "Sweetheart, I can't dance well, but I compensate in the hugs"

    After the 1962 war, while he was in charge of the recontruction of the army, some foreign journalists came to meet him. One asked, "are your soldiers trained to use foreign weapons"? Sam smiled and pointed to the camera "How long had you been using this"?
    "Ten, fifteen years"
    "If you get a new advanced camera, how long it would take you to start using it?"
    "One or two hours"
    "Same for the soldiers with weapons"

    Sam was invited for a function at the Calicut Lions Club. He requested TWO rooms for accommodation. That was for him and his wife. The hosts were a bit confused, but did it anyway.
    Sam clarified that in his address. "I snore terribly, and she can't take it. So we sleep in seperate rooms at home. I know you are not asking the question about how we got the two kids. That too happened in between"

    He was summoned to a meeting of the Cabinet where, as he recalled later, everyone present at the meeting was vying with the others to present to the prime minister his grasp of the situation and offering one suggestion after another as to what should be done. After hearing most of the speakers, the prime minister enquired whether the officiating army chief, until then a silent spectator, had something to say. "I am afraid they are enacting Hamlet without the Prince," he said. "I will now tell you exactly what has happened, and how I intend to deal with the situation." He then proceeded to do so.

    Bengal in those days was a very troubled state where anarchy was prevalent, and law and order was almost on the way out. Sam was traveling to Dum Dum airport, Calcutta, once when he found the road blocked for traffic by a huge crowd being harangued by one person. The outrider and the staff officer accompanying him both advised a detour, but this would have meant running away and would have been noticed by the locals. So he got out of his staff car instead, and started walking up to the speaker who, he discovered to his disquiet as he approached, was a 'huge fellow, well over six feet tall.' Anyway, hiding his mounting uneasiness, he put his hand out and announced, 'I am Sam Manekshaw.' This unsettled the other person somewhat as he had probably anticipated an argument. He too, put his hand out and mumbled his name. He was then asked to clear the road, as otherwise 'I shall miss my plane.' The speaker, by now completely confused, hastened to obey, and the last glimpse the army commander had of his latest acquaintance was of that worthy helping to clear the road.

    When the wife of a former army chief asked Manekshaw how he managed to remember the first names of most army wives, the field marshal remarked there are two things no honourable man should forget: His wife's birthday and the first name of the women around.

    More to come..

    N.B Please check my new avatar & signature
     
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  2. IND151

    IND151 ELITE MEMBER

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    salute to manekshaw!
     
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  3. Ghostwhowalks

    Ghostwhowalks FULL MEMBER

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    Sounds like a splendid man, a gentleman and a soldier in the finest tradition.....men like these can sweep any woman off her feet :)
     
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  4. onepost

    onepost MEMBER

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    “If anyone tells you he is never afraid, he is a liar or a Gurkha!” - Sam Manekshaw

    I dont know much about Gurkhas but they seem to be brave.

    @Topic

    Sam Bahadur was a confident and an arrogant man. I have always appreciated arrogance.
     
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