The blue dolphin sat comfortably on top of the television set as if it has always been there. Washed and dusted, even its white underbelly gleamed like snow. Such was the blue dolphin’s efficacy that it also served as a mockery to its small physical size. And it is also partly for this reason that I felt obligated to write about it with its appearance a few years back during my ICT.
The blue dolphin was initially the butt of the jokes among the mates due to its feminine nature. With its light and soft attributes, it was thrown around the bunk for a cuddle or head rub, binding us heart and soul, with laughter and joy. All these were done with its owner beaming with pride and approval; he who was a bunkmate known by the name of “Ah Wee”. Ah Wee is someone we would call a happy go lucky guy who would go to almost any extent to make our stay a comfortable and breezy one. He was our unofficial “Head of Welfare” with jokes aplenty to keep our spirit up, and bringing in the blue dolphin was another of his way of doing so.
We came together one last time for our ICT a few months back. Time passes but there are always familiar faces and poignant memories. It felt like a part of our lives have come to a full circle and it was time to take stock before moving on. We said good-by to those days spent with the sand blowing in our faces and the physical exhaustion of field training under the hot sun. But something precious has stay behind, which I guess would accompany us for the rest of our lives. We talked and reflected on how we had pulled through and arrived at this point – ten years of NS. Our eyes fell on the blue dolphin – you may have guessed correctly by now that it is a stuff toy – which now has the name of our unit and the period of our last ICT written on its belly. It was then that we recognised the treasure we share; the comradeship and togetherness, all epitomises by the blue dolphin.
PS: Dedicated to the band of brothers (and especially to Ah Wee who actually pestered me to include his name) of 465 SAR in celebration of over ten years of NS.
What have I learned:
The human spirit prevails when the going gets tough. We learn to see the bright side of things, to lean on each other through the darkest of hours. Even though in the rain and soaked to our socks, with warm smiles, funny faces or jokes (both vulgar and clean); the worst of thunderstorms would seem to be driven away. At the end of it all, the hardships of trainings are even recited with pride. It was our spirit that kept us going together.
PS: In a real war, we are not only fighting for our country, but more importantly, for the comrades next to you. I would gladly lay down my life for my mates; that is for sure.