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The Army Unit Ordered to Shift to Another Base - A True Story

Raiwala to Bhatinda Google Map Route
This is the google map showing the route from Raiwala to Bhatinda. Just 385 km by road.

The Army unit my father was posted was brand new and was raised in this small place called Raiwala over a full one year. It is a true story. I have actually seen during that one year, how the unit had established itself as a fighting force and got well organised.

I have been with my father in many army units before. This unit had become almost like those in those twelve months. Almost all units are shifted to forward area in a few months of formation and that was a normal procedure.

Imagine a new set of about a few hundred people coming from different unit and organising themselves into a proper fighting unit. No one knew each other before they came there. But there was a family bond that developed in the neighbours, between the same rank gentlemen's families, with feasts organised on every occassion to ensure that the families and men meet each other and mingle become a single big family who will look after each other.

Each unit I was told was raised in a remote new location till it becomes fighting fit and then it is moved to a new forward location permanently. Now that the army unit was well organised and ready to operate in a war, this army unit was ordered to move near a forward area called Bhatinda which was a city.

The size of Bhatinda was over five hundred times bigger that of the place Raiwala which was more of a jungle than a village, with river Ganges flowing just a kilometer from where the army unit was raised. The place Raiwala was exactly in between the two holy places in India called Haridwar and Hrishikesh. The nearest city was Dheradun which was about sixty kilometers away and takes about an hour by train.

But there were only two trains those days going to Dheradun. And bus service also was not very frequent. So the army unit had a bus service to Dheradun once a week exclusively for its own people who want to go shopping at Dheradun.

We had just started enjoying living in that jungles with the holi river Ganges flowing just a few hundred yards from our house with elephants swimming and crossing over to our side and destroying crops at night and going back before sunrise. Although we were all scared to go out of the house at night, it was a huge site to see wild elephants at night roaming around next your house. We would switch off the lights inside our house to ensure that the elephants cant see us.

This beautiful true story was going to change in just one day with a single letter from the army headquarters. The government had some other plans for this small army unit. They wanted to shift this army unit to a forward area.

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