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Perhaps the most detailed profile Army wrote on its chief, ever!

August 01, 2014 10:03 IST

Perhaps the most detailed profile Army wrote on its chief, ever!

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Even as General Dalbir Singh was taking over the baton from General Bikram Singh to be India’s 26th Chief of Army Staff in New Delhi, the Indian Army was releasing a detailed profile -- one containing insightful information -- about him.

Some excerpts:

The obedient one who is allowed to disobey

'Surrounded by faithful guards and soldiers, it is unfathomable even to assume that anyone can ever disobey a General. In the Suhag household, however, there is someone who is allowed to have his way. Not just by the General's volition but in his own right and playful way. Yes, 'Juno' is his name and he is a four-year old Golden Retriever brought home as a gift to the family by daughter, Pallavi.'

'Clearly, Juno goes about his ways around the house with abandon until he sees his 'Master' come home, which is when he gets excited. At other times, he would quietly sit near his Master, gently seeking his attention and affection. “He helps me unwind completely,” says the General as he fondly pats Juno, who is forever ready to obey his commands.'

'The General recalls an offer by a specialist dog-trainer who once told him that he would train Juno to obey orders without blinking. The affable General declined his offer politely, saying, “I would much rather have him disobey me when everyone else around only obey my orders.”'

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Image: General Dalbir Singh with his four-year old Golden Retriever named Juno
Photographs: Indian Army

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When a Captain met his match

‘He was a strapping, young handsome Captain posted as an instructor at the Army School of Mechanical Transport, Bangalore. He was also a bachelor and had come to Delhi on leave during the 1982 Asian Games. A friend of his would go on to suggest he consider a suitable proposal, the daughter of a retired Naval officer who were a well-established family in the Capital.’

‘He would agree and having met briefly his bride-to-be, would ask his parents to go ahead with the customary formalities. They would later be married traditionally in New Delhi on February 7, 1984.’

‘Decades on, an interesting anecdote still evokes much laughter in the household that took place in the bride's place. The girls in the house had mistakenly assumed that the senior friend of then Capt Dalbir who had come home to broach the subject of marriage, to be the suitor himself.’

‘Much to her disenchantment, the visitor looked much older with grey hair-burns et al. Needless to say, the erudite Namita, a Political Science graduate from DelhiUniversity, for whom the proposal was being considered was in tears.’

‘But soon she and her siblings would realise their folly and breathe a sigh of relief. But the suspense remained for a while. It was only when the tall, handsome officer dropped by eventually, his mannerisms and gentlemanly bearing would altogether leave her gushing and blushing, and her siblings impressed.’

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Image: General Dalbir Singh with his wife Namita
Photographs: Indian Army

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The Suhag household

‘Despite them being rooted to earthy moorings, one would invariably find the Suhag household a den of warmth. With interiors and decor also most tastefully done up, the creative and artistic leanings of the lady of the house is clearly evident. More than anything else, the family members make it a point that visitors to their house go back with more than just pleasant memories.’

‘Both, the General and his wife are also fond of music. It is, however, of the older times and includes ghazals and songs from the times when they were a young couple. Time permitting, they also indulge themselves by watching a film together.’ 

‘Although he couldn't recall the name of the movie that he last saw, he was certain Sonam Kapoor starred in it. One can't fault the General for not remembering much of its screenplay though.’

‘“If possible, I would love to learn Bharatnatyam and other Indian classical dances,” says Mrs Suhag, clearly wanting to catch up with her interests and hobbies that she could not find time earlier. Although willing to give it a try, she knows in her present role, she would be even busier with welfare-related pursuits.’

‘In recent years, the family did go through testing times. But that ordeal only made the family bond much stronger and resolute.’

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Photographs: Indian Army

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Just General Dalbir Singh; no Suhag

‘Suhag, incidentally is indeed his surname and although not averse to being addressed as such, it may only be prudent to address the General by his duly listed name -- Dalbir Singh -- to rule out any speculation on the correctness or lack of it, in so far as addressing him on record is concerned.’

Please click MORE to read 9 interesting facts about India's new Army chief


Photographs: Indian Army

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