Soljer Soljer is a story based on an imaginary infantry battalion of the Third Gorkha Rifles — the Sixth battalion. The composition, training, camaraderie, and duties in all the other infantry battalions of our Army are almost the same except that certain customs undergo a change as they adapt to the ethnicity of the troops in that Regiment. So the visible changes would be the manner of the battle cry, salutation, greeting, decorum in festivity with the troops, or ceremonials in the Officer’s Mess. There is no difference in the dogged determination or the ferocity in the will of troops of these troops in completing any mission allotted to their battalions! Colonel Mahip Chadha, whom I have not only known from our training days, but served with; has very clearly brought out the joys of the simple infantry life and the deeply embedded love, affections and stoic ethnic involvement that officers enjoy with their men. This is brotherhood in its purest form. The story is of Surinder Singh Sahni and his son Jaskaran who as father and son serve in the same battalion. Brigadier Sahni resigns from the Army due to domestic issues while his son enjoys a brief and very modern marriage thanks to considerate parents. Brigadier Sahni has to face terms with reality when he reads about the Indian POWs and later when his son is declared missing believed killed after a skirmish with militants from POK. His misery is compounded when his daughter in law has to suffer further privations, till she decides to fight the establishment by becoming a lawyer. The sacrifices made by the cowherds in rescuing Jaskaran are poignant and are noble.Jaskaran returns home as his amnesia wears off in another accident. His mother like all mothers refuses to believe that he is dead.There is a God in heaven who reunites the family. The question which plagues Jaskaran is--whether his countrymen recognised his loss-- The book has a sprinkling of humour and the reader laughs at the follies of life. Mahip has told his story as an infantry officer would — straight, to the point and without beating about the bush which makes enjoyable reading! Lieutenant General G S Negi PVSM AVSM* VSM Erstwhile Colonel The Third Gorkha Rifles The Indian Army
Colonel Mahip Chadha who served in an a Gorkha Battalion of the Indian Army has presented a never before heard account of the travails and hardships experienced cheerfully by the soldiers of a Gorkha battalion --which is just like any battalion except for certain peculiarities in handling the troops and adherence to customs and traditions linked to the ethnicity of the troops .Humor and adherence to the prevailing rules and regulations, is a unique phenomenon followed rigidly in the Indian Army; which is unique and follows the perfect example of secularism and unity in diversity.It is this principe which endears officers of any outfit to link themselves with the traditions of their troops throughout their lives during their service and in retirement. Colonel Mahip Chadha transports the reader to a world where the Commanding Officer is a veritable God ,who holds the lives of 800 men in his hands - whom he loves like his own children,punishes them when they err like a parent and mourns with them when they suffer!
I am a retired officer from the Indian Army. I retired in June 2000, having served almost 34 years in the Army. Essentially ,I was commissioned into the Infantry ,into one of the finest battalions of the Indian Army , The Second Battalion the Third Gorkha Rifles ,popularly known as the VC Paltan having earned this title by winning the first two Victoria Crosses in World War I. The unit is a rifle battalion ,authorized to wear the Horn ,the insignia for rifle battalions.It marches at 140 paces to the minute as against 120 paces for the other regiments in the Indian Army and all the officers and the Junior Commissioned Officers wear black badges of rank instead of the brass badges worn by other battalions. I have already authored one book called GRIT GUTS AND GALLANTRY The Officers and Gentlemen of The Indian Army.This book is a motivational book for children of Class 9 to 12 and acts as a career counselor for attracting them to the defence services of India.This book was published by Rupa & Co in India. I was commissioned into the Indian Army on 25 December 1966.I have been posted to various sectors of the India sub continent and served twice in high altitude. I was married to Kiran Sethi .who tragically , passed away in Apr 2010.We have two daughters --Ganiv and Jyotan. Ganiv is married to Colonel Inderjit Panjrath and they have one son. My younger daughter Jyotan is married to Daljit Singh,a business man who is an Australian citizen.They have two sons. I live in New Delhi with my aged father and mother in law whom I look after.I worked in a few jobs after retirement and finally retired as the President of Helios Aviation.