Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Marching Tune of PMA – A Tune to Die For

Military bands all over the world play tunes of national motivational songs to boost the morale of their armed forces. The soldiers, the famous foot sloggers, no matter how tired or fatigued, demoralized or defeated, stand to their feet with new vigour and strength when even a lone bag pipers starts to play a motivational tune. Soldiers would die fighting as long as the tune is there in the air. War movies are replete with the scenes of drummers beating the drums and the bag pipers blowing their pipes to arouse the spirits of their comrades to fight and charge like lions.

Like all other armies, Pakistan Army too has the traditions of military band and almost all infantry battalions have their own band, mostly pipe bands. But the charm, strength and the motivation that a brass induces has no parallel. And when the brass band plays the tune “Allah-o-Akbar” (God is great), even the dead soldiers get out of their graves and start marching beside their comrades. While the lyrics of the original song (Ae Mard-i-Mujahid Jaag Zara Ab Waqat-i-Shahadat Ha Aya, Allah-o-Akbar’ – meaning Oh soldier, gather your strength as the time of martyrdom has come – God is great), sung by Inyat Hussain Bhatti during the 1965 war, are by themselves highly motivational, the combined effect of the drums, bugles, clarinets, symbols and the tubas make it so forceful that one can feel the beat getting to ones heart. Even a non military person when hears this tune, would be carried away with the tune and find himself marching like a soldier.

And when it comes to playing at the Pakistan military Academy, the scenario is altogether different. The parade of some 400 plus cadets of the same age, build and height, coupled with same devotion, spirit and desire to defend the motherland presents something which is worth watching. I have been the participant of such parades and believe me when the tune played, it sent electrified signals through my body and when we started marching on the tune, it looked as if our heals would dig water of the metalled surface of the drill square.

Recently, I visited PMA (PMA Revisited) after decades along with my family as a friend of my son was getting commission. And when the parade marched in on the tune of “Allah-o-Akbar”, I was electrified and if allowed, I would have joined the parade and marched along the young lads as I could feel the same vigour in me as it was decades ago when I marched in along with my passing out course long ago. Many of my readers may not understand my emotional attachment to this tune, but if one listens to the actual song and then dream oneself marching into the battle, one would then understand how a man in uniform feels when the time comes.

Watch a glimpse of passing out parade at Pakistan Militarily Academy: 
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