DMSD Boots to the Of­fi­cer Mess Par­ties, Ac­tor Ran­nvi­jay Singha Tells You What Shapes a ‘Fauji Brat’

MTV Road­ies win­ner goes down the mem­ory lane with his ex­pe­ri­ences in the can­ton­ment

SP's LandForces - - FRONT PAGE - Ar­pita Kala

MTV Road­ies win­ner goes down the mem­ory lane with his ex­pe­ri­ences in the can­ton­ment.

THOUGH AC­TOR RAN­NVI­JAY SINGHA may not have car­ried on his fam­ily legacy of join­ing the forces, he still thinks fondly of his days spent in the can­ton­ment. With six gen­er­a­tions of fam­ily in the de­fence forces, in­clud­ing his dad Lt Gen­eral Iqbal Singh Singha, Ran­nvi­jay says, “I was ac­tu­ally a board­ing school child af­ter the 8th stan­dard. But I re­mem­ber dad’s Samba (Jammu & Kash­mir) post­ing be­cause I was still liv­ing with them at the time. We were stay­ing about eight kms away from the Line of Con­trol and I had a very ‘Fa­mous Five’ kind of a life. We used to get on the cy­cles, go to the river, then the mango or­chard or go pluck berries...it was an amaz­ing life.”

Of DMS Boots and Cro­quet Par­ties

Rock­ing the chunky, very punk-rock DMS boots is some­thing most de­fence prog­eny aspire too. And, the for­mer Roadie earned his pretty early. “I had my first DMS when I was go­ing into the 7th stan­dard, I think so, be­cause my dad’s in the In­fantry and ev­ery­one was wear­ing DMS, so I got them re­ally early,” he says. In the Cap­i­tal to host the firstever sneaker festival, Soledi­tion, with his pal Sid­dharth Pal, the ac­tor even gave a tried and tested tip to break into your DMS boots. He says, “DMS ac­tu­ally means dou­ble moulded shoes and are some­thing that all the army peo­ple wear for al­most ev­ery­thing. When I got mine, I did what all the guys used to do - you got to wet it and put your feet in it for like five hours. It takes the shape of your foot, so you can do any­thing you want. But you can’t play a lot of spe­cialised sports in it like bas­ket­ball.”

And though, it’s been a while since he lived the life out of an Enid Bly­ton book, Singha still has fond mem­o­ries of the Of­fi­cers Mess par­ties, the unit pic­nics, cro­quet matches, dart throw­ing com­pe­ti­tions and the works. “Later on, when I grew up, I felt blessed that we had so many op­por­tu­ni­ties to ac­tu­ally do what­ever we wanted...like ‘Oh you want to go rock-climb­ing? Just go to the un­cle posted in Silig­uri’ or ‘Wanna play bas­ket­ball? Just go to the Ra­jRif, the team is prac­tic­ing, just prac­tice with them’. Play­ing ten­nis, golf, go­ing for a swim...the kind of in­fra­struc­ture we had as an Army of­fi­cer’s kid is un­be­liev­able. I re­ally value that,” he says.

Al­most Got the Ma­roon Beret

The first-ever win­ner of the in­sanely pop­u­lar re­al­ity show, Road­ies, in 2003, Singha’s orig­i­nal plan was to fol­low his dad’s foot­steps. And, he was al­most on track with that too hav­ing cleared the SSB, qual­i­fied for the IMA as well as the OTA. But then, he took two months off to win his favourite mo­tor­bike in a tele­vi­sion show and never looked back. And, clearly he has thought about the what-ifs too.

“I would have loved to join the Ra­jputana Ri­fles, like my dad, but the debate was that my Chacha is from Gre­nadiers and dad’s re­ally close fam­ily friends were from Guards, Arty, Ar­moured this and that. They were all ar­gu­ing over which reg­i­ment I would join. I would have loved to join my dad’s reg­i­ment un­less of course, if I had got through to Para (Para­chute Reg­i­ment), which I would have...,” he says.

“I would have loved to join my dad’s reg­i­ment, Ra­jputana Ri­fles, un­less of course, if I had got through the Paras”

PHO­TO­GRAPH: Ran­nvi­jay Singha / Face­book

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