DLTGH….Days left to go home, a feeling in the life of a Naval Cadet
This story is about a feeling called DLTGH at the Indian Naval Academy . Aditya, always wanted to explore the waters and not a day passed by when he did not visualize himself as an Officer in uniform. Aditya , alongwith three more co-cadets , went to the naval academy, Goa for the first time , after clearing the NDA & NA examination and the gruelling SSB interview.
The journey in the train was full of expectations, enthusiasm and dreams , but most of that belonged to after they would have become officers. They were not at all anticipating, what was stored for them at the academy, when they would reach there.
They reached the academy, and alongwith them reached the entire new batch who would start their three year course at the academy,but there was more to it, because the 5 senior batches which was already in the academy getting trained , was not thought of by these cadets .
The real task was not the tough training on the drill or the sports ground, the undaunting task was tackling these seniors, who were waiting for the firsties( famously termed, for the first term batch, every six month), like the ferocious wild animals wait for their prey in an open wild life sanctuary.
Among the millions of things which we the firsties were expected to learn, memorize, embibe , like the timings for each morning, noon and evening musters, games period , academic periods, one thing which each academy cadet longed to hear every night at 12 was DLTGH, Days Left To Go Home. The lesser the number, was , merrier was the feeling inside each cadet , because they knew, how less the days are left for their most “treasured” and most “missed” attibute in this wild life sanctuary type academy …FREEDOM.The freedom to speak their hearts out, sing their heart out, shout their heart out, eat every meal by hand and not by those unnerving spoons, forks and knives, joke , see movies of their own choice, and that is what it means to everyone in the academy, because this feeling is similar to the feeling of a Tihar jail inmates or rather more greater because , the jail occupants can atleast speak their heart out.
DLTGH, was the most liked “feeling”, by each and every one in the academy with almost equal emotional quotient.
Firsties DLTGH meant the first time freedom and the most required relief after the worst, the most tough life of the academy, the first six months.
Second termers DLTGH meant a feeling of accomplishment of having completed a year, and the feeling of moving into a higher seniority the next term with bigger smiles and content, which they reflect to their family once they see them.
Third termers DLTGH meant some seriousness of having completed half of the tenure of the course and closer to achieve the first ranks which one gets in the armed forces life, starting with SCC and SCA, Squardon Cadet Captain and Adjudant, which was given to the best third termers moving into fourth term.
Fourth termers DLTGH meant relaxed life for most because the next term when they reach back the academy they would just be below the ranks of the GODs of the academy, the sixth termer and for the best lot it was one term nearer to aspire to become the Academy appointments.
Fifth termers DLTGH meant for most “The feeling of great achievement” having reached the last term without hiccups like relegation , and for the best lot , a feeling of “Higher” tensions to be ACC and ACA of the academy.
Sixth termers DLTGH meant ,” finally we have conquered” feeling , and the enthusiasm and ecstasy of going on sailing in the next term after academy as “Sea Cadet” and greater relief of soon reaching their dream of becoming a gazetted Commissioned Naval Officer.