Ezhimala (Kerala), Nov 28: This is a story of friendship, passion and commitment to serve the nation. The storyline is set against the picturesque settings of the Indian Naval Academy (INA) at Ezhimala.
It is also the story of two village boys near Jammu, who have now transformed into gentlemen officers and all set to receive their stripes from the Navy Chief Admiral R K Dhowan during the Autumn Term 2014 Passing out Parade (PoP) on November 29. OneIndia interviewed both officers in the presence of their parents, on the eve of their much-awaited PoP.
A bonding from village
Meet Academy Cadet Captain Ankush Jasrotia and Academy Cadet Adjutant Rajinder Singh. Their friendship blossomed at a tuition class in a Kathua village near Jammu. "We both wanted to join the Navy. I joined the Navy in 2007 as an artificer apprentice. I was posted to INS Tarangani in Mumbai in 2009. But, I always dreamt of becoming an officer," says Ankush .
He said after meeting Rajinder at their tuition centre in Kathua village, he knew there was something common among both friends. "We used to discuss about Indian armed forces and the career options. After joining the Navy, we both wanted to go further and was selected to join INA in 2010 for the four-year B.Tech course," says Ankush.
During the graduation event at INA in Friday, Ankur also won the Chief of Naval Staff Trophy for the Best Project. At the PoP, he is set to receive the President's Gold Medal after being selected as the best cadet.
"He promised me to become an officer"
Ankush's father Gul Charan Singh, an Ex-Serviceman, told OneIndia that he is extremely delighted to see his son become an officer. "Our efforts, our prayers and his hard work have paid off. While I was in the service, he used to ask him why I was not picked by office vehicle every day. I told him that you need to become an officer to enjoy such a facility. He had promised me then that he would become an officer one day," says Singh.
Ankush's mother Suman Jasrotia was seen holding his son's cap closer to her while the interview was on.
First officer in his family
For Academy Cadet Adjutant Rajinder Singh, the PoP will be a great day to remember. "I will be the first man in the family to with an officer rank. My friendship with Anksuh has really helped. We share lot of common interests as well," says Rajinder. His sister Priyanka, a B.Com student, says that her brother bought a two-wheeler as her birthday present.
Rajinder's father Omkar Singh and mother Kanta Devi were bit emotional to see their son getting graduated from INA. For the record, both Anksuh and Rajinder are born in December. "We are proud of INA and they have really shaped us well. The values, the systems and the teachings all will remain with us forever," says Rajinder, who is a recipient of the Chief of Naval Staff's Silver Medal.
Role model at INA
For both Anksuh and Rajinder, their role model is Lt Cdr T Rahul, the INA PRO. "We saw strong leadership skills in him. At work and while at play. We always wanted to follow him," says Ankush.
Rear Admiral K B Mehta, Principal, INA, told OneIndia that both boys are exceptionally brilliant with great future waiting ahead. "They definitely stood apart from the rest and that's why they are getting all the laurels. These two boys from Jammu will definitely go places," says Mehta.