While reading the story of Field Marshal K.M. Cariappa (SOM dated May 28 – 30, 2019), I remembered seeing that great personality when I was a high school boy in Hunsur. It was in 1955-56 or so. The Field Marshal was retired and was freely moving from Madikeri to Bangalore and other places.
Whenever he used to go to Bangalore he had to go via Hunsur. We used to see his imported blue car from the playground passing on the road adjacent to our playground. We used to talk about the Field Marshal with great astonishment and wonder. Once it so happened that the Field Marshal’s car stopped near our playground and he came out of the car.
So tall, well-built, wearing a grey suit, he came to the corner of the field and stood straight. We, about fifteen boys who were playing cricket, stopped playing and with great hesitation and fear, we slowly went near him.
He was very happy to see us and spread his strong arms to welcome us near him. He brought a small tin from his car containing toffees and gave a toffee each and asked us what game we played and in which class we were studying, etc.
We were very happy to talk to him. He advised us to study well and play and stay fit. He asked us to say as loudly as possible “Jai Hind” three times. Waving his hand, he later wished us goodbye and went back to his car and left.
This incident is evergreen in my memory and I deem it to be our luck to see and talk to that great personality when we were just fifteen.
– Dr. H.S. Raghavendra Rao, J.P. Nagar, 1.6.2019
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