The Chief Drill Instructor at Mount Abu

Mount Abu has lost much of its glamour of what it was in the past. Today it is the booze city for all people coming from Gujarat- a dry state. In the 60s it was a romantic cool Hill station with Central Police Training College (later renamed Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy and subsequently in 1974 relocated to Hyderabad) as its main landmark. The towns life centered around the activities and needs of Probationers and Cadets and in summers  around the tourists from Gujarat. 

When we were sent as Cadets of the Intelligence Bureau in 1965 for six months training, Mr. S C Mishra IP was Commandant, Mr. Bannerji IPS Dy. Commandent and Mr. Burge as Assistant Commandant. But the person from whom all the IPS Probationers and Cadets were afraid was Mr. Spadigam, Chief Drill Instructor. He was a Dy. SP from the Malabar Special Police (Kerala) on deputation to the CPTC.

Mr. Spadigam was a dark skinned ebonised Officer, with a voice that would rebound in the morning among the Hills of Mount Abu. In Uniform he looked a terror without a mercy from him in words or deed. He spoke perfect English laced with few adjective like bloody and crap.

In the morning at the Polo Ground at about 6 am, it was he who could be seen first standing right in the middle of the ground. With a hawk eye perfection he could see any Probationer or Cadet moving an inch here or there in the "attention" position.

Once a Probationer later allotted to UP Cadre standing in the fifth row was making some movement with his hand in the right pocket of his half pant,when Spadigam shouted "Saroj this is not the place to scratch your balls" and the entire Parade was stunned. But in non official life, he was a perfect Gentleman and rather a shy personality. He would smoke Char Minar and would talk very little and would turn his head away  if he saw a subordinate. He would behave in a typical British style while addressing his seniors and did not shown any of the tendencies which are so prominent among subordinates of today. An officer of rare tribe which has not grown further.


More by :  Suresh Mandan

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