Journey Of Two Friends From Nursery To Army officer [OTA Gaya]
A total of 91 cadets were commissioned ceremoniously as officers in the Indian Army during the 16th passing out parade at Officer’s Training Academy, Gaya on Saturday. Among these cadets were Lt Pranav Shivaji Sonawane and Lt. Kunal Shailesh Shringarpure who are neighbours as well as friends from Nursery. They completed their schooling from Army Public School, Deolali and joined Officers Training Academy together thus making their dream a reality.
We had a conversation with them which we hope will inspire many young youths to achieve their goals.
DDE: When did you decide to join Indian Army. Was it a mutual decision to join the Army?
We both were passionate about forces since childhood as our school was also Army Public school Devlali so we were quite motivated to join armed forces from our school days.
DDE: What motivated you to join Indian Army when you have many other lavishing jobs?
As they say its a life less ordinary and that army is not a profession but rather it is a way of life so it was always the charm and obsession with the uniform which inspired us to join army.
DDE: Please tell us about your family backgrounds?
I (Lt Pranav) am the first officer from my family and kunal has an army background, his dad is a serving colonel in the Indian Army.
DDE: What were the ups and downs you had in your lives during preparations. How did you face them?
As millions inspire to join this prestigious job but a very few get a chance so it was very difficult to prepare for it, both of us were pursing B.tech outside in civil college and preparing for the ssb simultaneously it was quite hectic. Even after getting recommended we had to work upon our physicals to match the standards of the army so both of us used to workout, go on runs etc.
DDE: In which attempt did you and kunal got recommended by SSB?
Both of us got through in the first attempt itself of 10+2 TES Entry. We used to prepare together by our own and did not join any coaching institute.
DDE: Please share some experience during your training period as friends.
During training period both of us firmly stood by each other and faced all the odds together, whenever anyone of us used to get ill or have some problem the other one used to always be there to look after as though we were in the same academy and wing but we were in different companies and platoons respectively.
DDE: Any funny incident which you would have come across during this journey?
Well there are many but the most funny one was not during training but during our school days when we used to go to tuition together on my bike.
DDE: How did you feel to accomplish the goal as friends?
It is just a feeling which cannot be expressed in words. As they say tough times don’t last forever but tough men do so we are very much proud of each other for successful completion of the training and getting commissioned together on the same day, one thing which had helped us over the years in surviving the training was a quote which was told to us by our adjutant and which we followed always and every time was “nothing is impossible because everything is mental and bad times don’t last forever and just like everything THIS TOO SHALL PASS!
DDE: How do you see your friendship in future as you would be moving to your respective units?
Actually we will still be together for 1 more year till we complete our B.tech from MCEME Secunderabad after that we will proceed to our respective units but it is said in defence though it is a 13L+ force yet it is a very small world and we meet our coursemates somewhere or the other in some point of time, even if we don’t we are neighbours as well so if our leaves clash then we will have a hell of a time together cherishing good old days..!
DDE: Thank you for giving us your precious time. We wish you success in your future endeavours.
The pleasure is mine. Thanks a lot and appreciate your effort.
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