What does it mean to be a Rimcollian? Brigadier Jasbir Singh, SM narrates a thrilling account of the happy days at the Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehradun from 1962 to 1966 in his latest book Once Upon a Time in RIMC.
Here’s an exclusive excerpt from the book:
As young boys, we were repeatedly told that a healthy body and mind was what everyone expected of us as cadets in the school. Camaraderie and esprit-de-corps are two qualities we were expected to imbibe as the true benchmark of our character. A sneak, a whistleblower, or one who reported on mischievous activities of colleagues, was deemed a despicable person and boycotted by one and all. Mischief was an essential part of our growing up process, and our indulgence could never be deterred by any form of punishment, even a caning in the Principal’s office! ‘Learn to be smart,’ we were told, ‘Don’t ever get caught!’ The solemn dictum for us to follow was ‘A smart Rimcollian is never caught!’
During our time in RIMC, no one was particular about academic brilliance on our part. They were quite happy if we did not get into any serious trouble in school and managed to get the required 40% pass-marks in our examinations. Though an average of 40% marks in examinations was considered to be adequate, our parents and teachers repeatedly sounded us to achieve a happy mix of excellence in both education and sports…
As cadets in RIMC, we often confronted one another over seemingly petty issues. These confrontations led to many a physical fight. However, these physical contests helped us to hone our skills to fearlessly tackle any sort of opposition, including that from the enemy. Honestly, I feel the finest quality we learnt, was how to tackle adversity with a smile on our faces! Whether it was a simple inter-section boxing match, a heated fist-fight in school, or combat in battle, the smile remained pasted on our faces and it would shock our adversaries. The smile gave immense confidence to us and made it much easier to gain victory.
Interestingly, in RIMC all our petty animosities were quickly forgotten, and these confrontations led to priceless, lifelong friendships…
In later life, what separates the Rimcollians from all the others is their gracious humility and a host of sterling qualities. These qualities have been imbibed during the ‘rough and tumble’ of times spent at the playfields of RIMC. It would be unbecoming of me not to mention this great quality of never giving up when involved in a fight!
Lastly, it is overly asserted that the great qualities possessed by Rimcollians are in no small measure due to the simple-minded mischief they have been involved in at some point of time during their stay in RIMC.