Zip Zip Zoom
It was IMA in Oct 1987. I was in II term and about to finish half of my training of the full one year which we have to spend there before passing out. There was a “Fall in” called by the Company Sergeant Major(CSM) for giving some unnecessary instructions as he did not like the delay imposed in bringing eats for the tea time by some of us. No one was liking the unnecessary harassment at night time for such an issue. One of my coursemate, Pathak who had a habit of poking the seniors from a concealed position was standing in the middle row of the three lined “fall in” and hence was not visible to the Sarge from the front from where he was addressing us. In order to tease the Sarge and to show that he cared hoots for him he opened the Zipper of his trouser and closed it repeatedly moving the aglet of the zipper up and down in quick succession to make the sound which could be clearly heard by the Sarge in front during the pause of his sentence. For the first time the Sarge ignored it thinking that he might have misheard the sound and did not suspect anything. But again the same thing happened to which he just gave a curious look to his left side and continued to pass his instructions —- may be he again must have wondered what the sound was of(Zip Zip Zip) but when it happened for the third time he understood that some one his trying to provoke him. He came running towards us to his left. I was standing to the left of Pathak in the same middle row and was cursing that today Pathak will put me into trouble. As he came near us there was a stunned silence and everyone was standing in attention looking in front with no movement of even their eyeballs.
“Who was it?” he said in a stern and loud voice.
There was no answer.
“I said who was it?” he repeated again.
He asked Joe standing in front of me. We were not supposed to break unity that was an unwritten law amongst every of us which everyone followed in letter and spirit but it was also a law that we should never tell a lie. Secondly no one would break so easily as everyone wanted to maintain good relations with each other till the time it did not affected him individually in his career. Hence Joe replied,
“Sir, the sound came from my back side” and kept quiet after that.
Sarge came towards me and asked the same question to which I replied’
“Sir I think it came from my right side” and thereafter I also kept mum.
The sarge took two steps towards the direction I had indicated , crossed Pathak and asked the person to the right of Pathak as to where the sound had come from to which he replied on the similar lines ,
” Sir the sound came from my left I suppose”
Now things were becoming clearer. The Sarge went to the rear row and asked the person standing behind Pathak the same question and he like all of us said,
”Sir the noise most probably came from my front”
The Sarge at once shouted ,” You bloody Pathak, fall out”
And pathak was in the Bajri order (All packs filled with small gravel to their full capacity and over the shoulders) thereafter for the rest of the night moving around the Sarge’s room.
Thank God ! he caught the right person we all prayed.