The RIMC is also a very different kind of school, it is a unit of the Indian Army, to train boys (13-18) to become officers in the armed forces. Established in 1922, RIMC has nurtured the cream of the Indian armed forces. I was fortunate to go there (1972-76).
In the context of my challenging work on a slum improvement project in Calcutta in 1997, the year of the 75th anniversay of RIMC, and also the 50th anniversary of India's independence, I awakened to the soldierly qualities and capabilities I had imbibed from the school. During 1998-2003, I visted RIMC regularly every few months, on teaching visits. I developed a close association and attachment with the cadets, being with them through their daily routine, in classroom, sports field, music room, dormitory etc, and tried to motivate them to conscience, excellence and leadership, being a confidante, counsellor. All this was of course made possible by Col Mamgain, who gave me the freedom to do what I felt impelled to do. The school library is also a fabulous resource. Each visit of mine is also associated with the books I found and read, perhaps impossible to find anywhere today. Its not possible to describe what my visits to RIMC meant to me, and how precious and gem-like each of those days was! And of course the beautiful verdant, wooded campus, full of fragrances and bird-song.
Col Mamgain's friendship was also a gift, how I treasure the memory of our long, long conversation-walks, talking mostly about the school, the problems, the possibilities, as well as mutual sharing, through moments of inspiration as well as dejection. My wife and/or son/s had also accompanied me on some of my trips. My friend Achinto, photographer, accompanied me on a couple of visits. I was keen that my sons join the school, but that was not to be.
Owing to my awakening to the demands of the responsibility of managing the manufacturing enterprise (started by my father in 1967) which I had taken up on behalf of my family, I was unable to continue my RIMC visits. There was also the emotional toll. Col Mamgain retired in Oct 04, and the batch of students with whom I had become particularly close graduated.
Anyway, after an assignment in Dubai, Arun Mamgain is now back in Dehradun, where he has settled after retirement. The RIMC Commandant now is Col Prem Prakash, whom I also know well, he was my junior in school, and was the admin officer of RIMC during my early visits. I think I have also become more resilient aginst emotional toll of rich past! So I look forward to being back at RIMC soon.