"Since you know everything, Sire, tell us who we are?"
"Listen carefully, my comrades-in-arms, all of you are, in this life, distinguished officers of Mum’s Own Battalion."

“O Omniscient Master, what we were in our previous lives?”
“My loyal vassals, in your previous lives, as I have determined with the help of my Third Eye, you were all officers of the Royal British Army in the Imperial Age.”

Col. Mickey of the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders
(b. in this life Jan.11, 1989-d. Apr. 29, 2001)

"Col. Mickey was in the 93rd Sutherland Highlanders, a regiment known for its bravery. If there is one word that could be used to describe his bearing, his mien, his deportment, and his demeanour, it was ‘regal’. He was absolutely regal—the ultimate personification of the Empire. He had an extremely high opinion of himself and deservedly so—he was the best and all around him were a little inferior beings. Racist, would you call him, damn you?”
“You mean, he was a pucca Gora sahib? We are told he had a weakness for eggs too.”
“Being a colonel at the height of the Empire that he was, he was extremely finicky about everything around him—things had to be perfect otherwise he had nothing to do with them. He ate only what pleased him.”

Col. Mickey going to dinner

“He not only deserved respect, he commanded it. People around him were in absolute awe of him for he had a fierce temper. His temperature shot to a million degrees in a matter of microseconds. He could explode any time. Sometimes he gave a little warning by pulling his ears back and looking straight in the eyes. Those who knew better quietly slipped out of sight; for others it was already too late!”
“Yeah, yeah, we can imagine, my Lord. We have seen worse. You are even more unpredictable. Ha, ha, ha!”
“He loved Mum so much that he actually transcended time and space to reach out to her thousands of miles away, just to tell her that he was going forever. But the fact is that he is never gone; he is still very much there with them. He lives in their hearts and will live thus forever. There is no day when they do not remember him with great fondness. They even dedicated their ‘The Ultimate Book of Explosives, Bombs and IEDs’ to him for he was the one and the only one, Col. Mickey, the explosive one!
“Enough, sire, enough, we are already crying!”

Gen. Toffee of the Royal Horse Guards, the heavy cavalry
(b. in this life May 11, 1998-d. May 19, 2010)

“Gen. Toffee was in the Royal Horse Guards, the heavy cavalry. The heavy-set general always conducted himself with dignity and poise befitting his rank. He was not a micromanager and intervened only when the situation at the front warranted it. He was a protégé and companion of the great Col. Mickey but differed in temperament. Born a blond, and called a ‘pinky boy’ in his childhood, the ‘gentle giant’ was always apprehensive of getting a tan in the sun of the Lungiland.”
“What is this Lungiland, O Wise One?”
“My dears, Lungiland is a place on this planet where Lungi is the national dress. This is a piece of apparel invented in the pre-air-conditioning days to keep their nether regions cool. Those guys get very hot there, you see, what with all those steamy scenes in their films with heaving size 48D stuff. Wearing it at ‘half mast’, they can play cricket, football or ‘simbly’ run! They work in ‘Gaylf’, where they ‘lowe’ their ‘benanas’ and ‘pissas’.”

The General in informal attire

“He was a very caring man and doted on Mum more than anybody else. He mothered Brig. Buddy from the very first day of his induction in Mum’s Own Battalion and made him a good officer. Strangely, the blond general had developed a taste for Indian food like chicken masala and palak paneer, and barfi for dessert.”

“Such things happened during the Raj also, you know, friends. To those guys, everything Indian appeared to be from the La-La land of exotica. Some of the officers had a fondness for local girls also—poor guys thought they must be straight out of the world of Kamasutra! A little imagination can do wonders, you see. But for the sexy girls you see in films and TV to inflame your imagination, many marriages won’t survive. Ha, ha, ha!”

Brig. Dr. Buddy is a protégé of Gen. Toffee since January 16, 2006. He was in the 17th Lancers. Like the ‘prim and propah’ English gentlemen of yore, he never opens his mouth wide. No one has ever seen him panting like a stupid dog. Yes, he is a gentleman to the core. Forget about the tehzeeb of the nawabs of Lucknow; he is such a gentleman that, he would allow the other guy to drink milk first, even if there are two separate vessels. He has a karmic connection with Mum. Mum did not choose him; he chose Mum.”

It is Brig. Dr. Buddy, not James Bond, who is keeping the Union Jack flying

"Usually, the army officers of the world love to claim that they have nothing to do with brains and if they had to do something with brains, why would they have joined the army in the first place? The Brigadier, in a singular exception, has acquired a Ph.D.”
"What do you think of this feat, Master?” “Outstanding, mind-blowing, superb, fantastic, fabulous, historic, epic, let’s rock!”

“Listen, O Brothers-in-arms, the army officers of the world are dull, naturally dull; but they take extraordinary pains (in sucking up to their seniors; pampering their still dumber wives; showing them round and shopping for them; drinking heavily in the Officers’ Mess; and above all, planning parties and debating on such profound questions of life as to whether fish fingers should be served first or French fries) to become what we see of them; such an excess of stupidity is not in the Order of Nature, as Dr. Samuel Johnson had observed.”

“He has been the senior-most officer of Mum’s Own Battalion ever since General Toffee departed. I know generals never die; they merely fade from the sight, only to live in our hearts forever! But I think I will promote Brig. Buddy to the rank of a general now in view of his responsibilities.”

Lt. Col. Candy of the Berkshire Regiment

“Lt. Col. Candy was in the Berkshire Regiment where he won the Afghan War Medal for defying the Afghans even as his comrades were killed to the last man in the Battle of Maiwand. Nothing more needs to be said of his fierce courage. There is an old jungle saying about the Phantom: “Better to stare into the tiger’s eyes than into the cold eyes of the angry Phantom.” Looks like, the folklore was fashioned after watching the eyes of Col. Mickey and Lt. Col. Candy. I hope you buggers know who Phantom is.”

When he is in a loving mood, these very eyes could melt stones. Mum calls him Candy Baby ever since he was granted a commission in the Battalion on March 21, 2007! Strange, isn’t it? A case of split personality, may be?

“Quite strangely, and proving that all of you are birds of the same flock, Lt. Col. Candy too developed a fancy for some very Indian sweets like Mysore Pak. Perhaps, in an earlier life, he had fought in the Battle of Srirangapatanam also.”

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