From Raging Bulls to Bull in the Army – A Tale of Wits and Humor

From Raging Bulls to Bull in the Army – A Tale of Wits and Humor

A few incidents in this story are a figment of imagination

The story pertains to early 2007, the bulls in the Stock market were raging, a fact known not just to the stockbrokers and analysts, but even to the local Paan Wala who saw the surge in the number of men sporting expensive watches and bragging about their “multibagger” portfolios. Social media, however, had a different story to tell. There, the “Bull in a China Shop” metaphor was losing its shine, replaced by a barrage of memes about the impending crash and the inevitable return to “normalcy.” As they say, nothing is permanent, and change is the only constant.

But in the army, one thing remains a constant: the “Bull in the Army.” It has a ubiquitous presence and can be seen daily in various forms. During the annual inspections in the Regiments, the “Bull” remains a key element. From the spit-and-polished military transport, training and stores area to the meticulously maintained unit lines and offices, shades of bull can be seen almost everywhere.

One such inspection was underway in a certain unit. The Commanding Officer, a man with a meticulous attention to detail, was visibly pleased with the preparations. The young, dynamic Adjutant mirrored his satisfaction. Everything was in place, at least that is what they thought.

In the training area the officer on duty had prepared the field craft training demonstration site with pride. It was 10,000 odd square yards of lush green grass, dotted with naturally grown patches of thick undergrowth, looked pristine. He had meticulously laid a series of booby traps, each triggered by carefully camouflaged tripwires. He was enthusiastically waiting for the arrival of the Inspecting Officer.

Suddenly, a black bull lumbered onto the scene. Drawn by the promise of a particularly verdant patch, it ambled towards it, completely oblivious to the military maneuvers unfolding. Its hoof, with the grace of a bull in a China Shop, caught on a tripwire. A series of firecrackers erupted in a cacophony of bangs and pops.

The bull, startled by the unexpected fireworks, let out a bellowing roar and bucked wildly. Panic seized the bovine beast. It charged blindly through the training site, its hooves churning the carefully laid undergrowth into a muddy mess. Tripwires snapped and popped in its wake, creating a symphony of explosions. The training officer and his team, initially frozen in shock, scrambled to restore the situation as the enraged bull had turned the demonstration site into a muddy obstacle course.

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The Commanding Officer, hearing the bursting of crackers, momentarily stunned, he turned to the Adjutant, “Everything in place, Major?” he inquired, with a hint of concern in his voice.

The Adjutant, shaken but quick-witted, mustered his composure. “Sir,” he replied, “I just received an update. As far as the training area is concerned, “The bull is in place.”

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The inspecting General Officer, a man with a reputation for a stern demeanor, arrived at the demonstration site in the training area. He surveyed the scene, the bewildered bull standing amidst the disarray, and a slow smile spread across his face. “What is going on here?” he asked, his voice laced with amusement.

Without batting an eyelid, the Adjutant responded, “Sir, these are the effects of bull in the army.”

The General Officer burst into hearty laughter, the sound echoing across the training area. The bull, perhaps sensing the shift in mood, seemed to relax a little. The tension dissipated, replaced by a shared moment of unexpected humor.

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This incident became a landmark event in the unit. The “bull in the army” took on a new meaning, a testament to the army’s ability to adapt to even the most unexpected situations with a touch of humor and quick thinking. It was a reminder that even in the most trying situations, there is always room for a little bit of the unexpected, a dash of the absurd, to create a story that would be retold for years to come.

About the author:

Brig Balwinder Singh Sandhu (Retd) is a seasoned Indian Army veteran with a knack for storytelling. He brings his unique perspective to both the regimented world of the Armed Forces and the world of golf, weaving in colorful anecdotes from his experiences.

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