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True Story - Goa Church A Morale Booster

The Sunday morning marathon is a true story. The churchThe only thing we all could look forward to, in this grueling 8.5 kilometer Sunday Marathon was to seeing an abundance of beautiful dark female faces mostly in white gowns, or short skirts, going to the church all along the route. These females are so used to seeing the cadets of Sundays that they have learned to ignore us.

For those who have been to Goa in India will know that the entire Goa has a church at every 300 yards thanks to the Dutch occupation of Goa prior to the Independance of India. The Marathon never had any minimum timings to complete. But there were rules that segregated the first 100 cadets who come first, then the next hundred and so on. Thanks to the Dutch people all the church they made in Goa was making life easy for the cadets in academy.

We come for just six months and go. But these females in Goa living around the hill on which our academy was located have to live with this nuisance called cadets running on the road every Sunday when they are going to church. And the thought of some female faces early on a Sunday morning makes the loss of sleep in the Saturday night worth it for all cadets because there was not a single female in the entire academy those days.

The Sunday morning marathon in the academy became something we all started looking forward to, on Sunday mornings after the first time we ran the marathon. The last 100 cadets who complete the marathon at the end, will get some sort of punishment in the form of a second half marathon in the same Sunday evening for having come in the last 100. My aim in these academy marathon always was to avoid being in the last 100.

As the marathons progressed on many Sunday mornings, I started coming within the first hundred as my stamina increased and so did my morale. If a cadet has already passed the drill test and swimming test, and the cadet happens to be in the first 100 in the Marathon, then the academy allows that cadet to go out of the academy that Sunday into the Goa town. The cadets coming in the first and second lots of 100 cadets finishing the marathon also will get Morning Physical Exercise session of half an hour off on Monday. That means one of extra sleep on Monday morning. So the sleep deprivation on Saturday could be compensated on Mondays.

We were ten cadets who had joined as Aviation Cadets. All cadets will pass out of the academy and go to ship for further naval training. But the ten of us would go to the Air Force for flying training to become pilots. We were an elite class of cadets. After a few Sunday morning marathons the ten of us decided that the churches of Goa around the academy was not enought for us. We needed to see more of Goa.

It was not so difficult to be within the first 200 out of the 800 odd guys who run the Sunday marathon. It was the last Sunday just prior to our departure from the academy to the Air Force for our pilot training. The chief instructor in the academy was kind enough to grant then ten of us aviation cadets, a day out at Goa because we were leaving on next Monday. We were excited. We had come to know that there are much better churches in the Goa town where modern and well dressed people come.

The churches were only a Sunday morning morale booster during our marathons. But now we were going to the Churches well dressed and to have more fun. This was a true story developing in its own way for ten of us. We were going to discover more of Goa and more about us. Somehow the ten of us had passed the drill test and the swimming test. That meant all ten of us would be going to Churches in Goa and not just run around the academy. It was exciting even to think about.

A True Life Story


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