In conversation with Major Gaurav Choudhary, Class of 2012. In this Interview he talks about his time at AIL and shares his experiences of being an Aide-De-Camp to the President.
The Blue Pencil: How did AIL happen?
Gaurav Choudhary: After class 12, I was at the crossroads absolutely confused as to which avenue to opt for in life. With a shade of legal and army background in the family, decided on law. AIL having already established a sound footing amongst top law schools was a preferred option.
TBP: What was your law school life and routine like? What extra-curricular activities did you participate in?
GC: Majority of my formative years were from a boarding school, so I was well accustomed to the routine. Life here was more academic in nature with the afternoon class being an absolute mood killer. Was an active participant of college football and squash teams.
TBP: Looking back, what are the things you miss most about college?
GC: It would be prejudiced to select a few events or things over the others. College life in entirety was a blessing where I had a ball of a time. It is mandatory to mention the names of a special lot Sumbul, Abhimanyu, Akshat, Joban, Sekhon and Tanvir who made it a lasting and memorable one.
TBP: How did you decide to join the Army? What was the preparation phase like?
GC: Rather than wilfully deciding, Army just happened. It was in the 3 year when appearing for the same was in fashion and I remember that grey coloured AIL bus was full when we went to take the exam. Deep down there was this urge to don the olive green, therefore the preparations were pretty serious. Shubrit(Gurkha Rif) and I, would attend the SSB Classes ‘which in itself was fun.
TBP: You are in the Para (Special Forces), any experiences during the training that you would like to share with us?
GC: Once in the army being a part of the elite was the dream. All good things come after strife but this one was bad, real bad, mean and nasty. Cannot particularly share training methods on this platform but the day I was “Marooned” was the most jubilant day by far.
TBP: How would you describe your role as the Aide-De-Camp (ADC) to the President of India?
GC: We ADC(s) are constant companions of the President, responsible for the conduct of the President and first family in keeping with protocol. Its been aptly said that the ADC are to the President ‘what a shadow is to a man’. This appointment has got me vast exposure and a birds eye view of how the government machinery functions. It is an over the top experience which more than anything else has taught me to be grounded.
TBP: Any memory where you broke a rule in college and got into trouble?
GC: Breaking a rule in college…this would be an understatement. What is done is in the past and it should stay there.
TBP: Looking back, would you have done anything differently?
GC: Nothing, at all. Not that old that I need to look back already. They were all my decisions, some were just too good some went bad. Learnt from each of them, no regrets whatsoever.
TBP: Any piece of advice for students aspiring for a career in the Armed Forces?
GC: Armed forces is not a job, its a way of life. If you strongly feel about it, only then go for it. Also do not be perturbed about the civil-military equation we are different, we are rodeos, we are scholar warriors, hold a different stature, basically we are Supermen.
Whatever conscious decision you make you shouldn’t feel that in the long run you have been Trump’ed.