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Indian Army - My First Love ! | by Captain Suresh Sharma
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Indian Army - My First Love !





Indian Army fascinated me right from my childhood days, like nothing else. It had few strong reasons, my father told me many stories of valour of Indian soldiers, he used to get me story books from school library, which were all about brave Indian soldiers. Also, every year, some units of the Indian army used to camp exactly behind my school. After the school was over, we used to play with guns and the soldiers were nice to us. So, Indian army enticed me to be part of it, and I decided to join the army and do no other job.


In those days, Indian Army soldiers had great respect amongst its populace in the north and western regions, especially. Indian Army officers attracted the best proposals for marriage, that was the glamour. Above all, India army gave great opportunity for adventure, travel and patriotism. Also, India fought a long battle for freedom, against the British, so soldiers had great respect in the society.


So, for obvious reasons, I loved the Indian army the most in my life, I am still a soldier at heart and always try to be like one. For some personal reasons, I had to hang my boots and bid the Indian army adieu in 1990. It was a tearful goodbye, as I could not see my uniform being separated from me, loved it the most.


In 2007, I met Brig Clive Elderton of the British Army, while traveling by train to Pushkar, and he recommended my name for a coffee table book assignment. I had a wonderful support from the Indian Army Chief’s office for the photo shoots at various locations in India. It was such a great and wonderful experience, which I can never forget. During this, I had permission to do photo shoots at Rashtrapati Bhawan (President’s House), as president of India is the supreme commander of the Indian armed forces.


I had memorable time while shooting with the President’s Body Guard unit, while being commanded by Colonel Adil Mahmood, 6th generation soldier, a thorough gentleman, very spirited soldier. I admire him for one thing the most - he never said no to any request by me, i.e. asking for horses and soldiers at any time and any numbers, having access to the stables any time. I think, that is why the book has maximum photos of PBG, as one single unit, they make wonderful photos as a subject.


Indian army is an attractive subject for photographers. But the politicians and bureaucrats do not encourage it to be photographed, as they fear the Indian army soldiers will get popular amongst the masses. In fact, a very well planned downsizing of the status of the Indian army, is always on by the bureaucrats.




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Taken on September 1, 2007