I call Gen Dev, who has written the blogs on TA, Dober since 1981. He calls me Bernie. Dober, if I remember correctly, had got a Sena Medal as a Lt Col & recently he had got an AVSM. These issues have not been important between us. We both believe that success in command depends more on character than capacity. Dober, is a guy I would trust as a buddy in a fight or in war & that is far more important to me than the rank & decorations he earned in service. I am sure the troops he commanded would have trusted Dober for his strength of character. He has written something about me which is narrated below:
Bernie, my Friend
A word about Colonel Nehru (Bernie): We are good friends for long now and the bedrock of our friendship is the mutual respect that we have for each other. While he has been generous with his words about me, all of you need to know that he himself epitomises self-belief, hard work and perseverance and honesty of intent and purpose along with unimpeachable integrity and incredible mental strength. And I haven’t touched upon his physical strength which is legendary and Tennis which he is most proud of!
I will narrate an incident to give a perspective to what I have written about him. Bernie, in NDA, decided to become a boxer. He had never put on boxing gloves before leave alone entering the boxing ring. Bernie was slated to fight a known toughie, high on brute strength and aggression. As a concerned friend I asked him how he proposed to deal with the situation. His answer was simple: he said, “I will withstand all the punches thrown at me and I will hit back harder. People rate him higher but I think I am stronger.”
The bout began and Bernie moved towards his opponent with an open stance and kept moving forward despite his opponent trying to pummel him down to the canvas. Bernie counter punched with power and accuracy and forced his opponent out of the ring. His opponent re- entered the ring both furious and taken aback by Bernie’s audacious but effective style. On the word, “Box” he lunged towards Bernie, determined to knock him down. However, Bernie, cool, confident and unperturbed, threw a lethal left and right hook combination which took the spirit out of his opponent and was soon comprehensively defeated. The boxing bout brought forth the actual mettle of the ever smiling, self- effacing Bernie, who wouldn’t hurt even a fly.
Please draw lessons from my friend Bernie’s bout!