The Corps Commander and the Witty Risaldar



By Maj Zuha Saeed, Retd (12 OTS)

Major Zuha Saeed

Maj Zuha Saeed

Editor’s Note: Maj Zuha Saeed is from 28 Cavalry. He got early retirement in 1995 and has settled in Islamabad.

While in Exercise area, Commander 2 Corps, an armour officer, was going for a Sunday brunch with a few dozen guests from his under command outfits. The SJCO of HQ Squadron of 1 Armoured Division, was a 2nd World War vintage Risaldar Nisar from 28 Cavalry. He was a typical RAANGAR from a village near Bahawalnagar. He was in-charge of the brunch and had the Mess Havaldar standing next to him to look after the event.

As the Corps Commander passed in front of the two, with his Sky-High, Hi-Fi staff around him, he asked the old JCO, “Saab! Naashtay may kia banaya hai?”

Risaldar Nisar said, “Saab, Nihari banaya hai!!”

Red chillies

Red chillies.

Knowing that RAANGARS are very fond of eating red chilies, the Commander smiled and asked, “Good! Mirchain virchain daali hain?”

Nisar Sahib, a typical Raangar, had a funny smile come up his face. He said in 1/10th of a second, “Saab, itni mirchain daali hain kay aap ka Tail Light aik dum ‘ON’ ho jaye gaa.”

After a second of silence, the entire crowd burst into laughter. No one took any offence/action against the Risaldar. Even no ‘Love Letter’ was issued to the JCO from the Corps HQ. This funny anecdote was remembered and talked about in the Corps for a very long time.

Such beautiful is our Army, such great are our officers and men. Pakistan Army, Zindabad!!

Related Posts:
Army Jokes (in Urdu/Punjabi)

Army Jokes  (in English)

Humour in Uniform

Pakistan Army Blog (Retired Officers)

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  1. So nice I enjoyed a lot ……well done!!
    Please share more.

  2. Capt Sajid 30 Cav says:

    Si,r very nice anecdote. I really enjoyed it!!
    Unfortunately there is drift now between officers and soldiers, I wish it is not there.

  3. I have two brief anecdotes on General Javed Alam……………..

    (Editor’s Note: The first anecdote has been removed from here and addedd in the following article:-
    “The Captain who Came in from the Cold!!”)

    Second Anecdote: 2010. The General is retired and I happen to be on a trip to Pakistan to do a Leadership Series Program at the PMA, Kakul. I discover his number kind courtesy of General Raheel Sharif, then Commandant of the PMA. I place a call and General Javed Alam and I are talking to each other after a gap of a quarter century. He remembers me well, and invites me over to his resdence for dinner, specifying 2000 hours as the time he would be expecting me. I travel back from the PMA and reach his residence at 2031. Throughout the drive from Abbotabad to Islamabad, I have been thinking about how we would meet after all these years – will he embrace me, would he be nostalgic, would he notice that I have lost 90% of the hair on my head ……. When I am ushered into his private den by his attendant, the General was seated on a plush sofa, a glass in his hand. He looked at me, looked at his watch, and said simply, in a matter-of-fact tone: “Chandna, you are 33 minutes late.” For a second, I wanted to turn and run away. And then, that all-too-familiar smile that said: “Come here you bloody fool, I still love you” flashed across his face and I walked inside to a wonderful welcome.

    Pedigree counts. In General Javed Alam, these two words are so deeply embedded that everything about the Army and old-world-chivalry comes cascading down as the gospel truth.

    Proud to have served with an Officer and a Gentleman.

  4. A wave of nostalgia literally swept me off my feet upon reading your anecdote. My salute to Gen Javed Alam who rescued me from a brawl with Arty Officers in Nowshera Club (late 70’s) by swift extrication. Be blessed all!

  5. Lt Col (R) Zahid Shah, AC (46 PMA) says:

    Ranghars are great soldiers, brave, loyal and witty. Eating red chilies has bestowed them with a sizzling sense of humour and to a new comer the profanity they use in communicating may be shocking and their jokes bordering vulgarity but once familiar one really enjoys their company and camaraderie! In this incident the General is well acquainted with the JCO and Ranghars and that’s why he took the quip and enjoyed it! Anyway Gen Javed Alam the youngest of the indomitable Tumble Brothers is both well endowed and blessed with a peculiar sense of humour which he often employs to intimidate the unsuspecting victim. The fact however is that such anecdotes mostly occur in our Armored Corps owing to the close relationship amongst all ranks.

  6. Col (R) Azam Qadri, 31 Cav (40 PMA) says:

    Dear Zuha,
    The “Rangars” were always a lively lot and in spite of hardy life of cavalryman, they were always willing and cheerful. Have had the pleasure of serving with officers as well as JCOs and men. They were a fine bunch. The other thing that has been diminishing has been the positive sense of humour amongst the senior officers when they are amongst the under command. As a child and junior officer I have encountered senior officers having a crack at each other teasing each other of anecdotes attributed to each others regiments.

    It also reminds me about another missing community that I had the pleasure of serving with were the “Bengali’s”. I had fortunately served with them in 31 Cavalry, where the class composition was 50% Bengali’s. I found the highly literate, cultured, well dressed and great esprit-d-corps. I had a tank driver and gunner of my tank crew, who were Bengali and the mannerism, the way they dressed up and carried themselves was praiseworthy. I even had then Capt (Later Col) SF Rehman, as my Adjutant and buddy. This Officer later rose to be famous Col Farooq, who initially went to Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman (the founder of Bangladesh) to advise him to harness his sons from all kinds of ill-doings, but the sons opened up fire on these officers and in the ensuing shoot out, the whole family of Sheikh Mujib-ur-Rehman were killed, except Haseena Wajid, who was not in the Presidential Palace at that time.

    I had met Col Farooq, during his period in exile and heard his story, that also appeared in the Readers Digest, with a caption, “Why I killed Mujib?”

    Have my own stories to narrate, but its not the right place and forum. Willing to talk whenever we get together.

  7. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Naseem Akhtar, 54 Cav (53rd PMA) says:

    Ziha, Well narrated. Ranghars are known for their Jokes. In Tabuk I had a Ranghar batman & enjoyed his company/stories, that I cherish even today. Their jokes/accent/glimpses have well been covered in TV Serial “Alpha, Bravo, Charlee” too. Armour w/o Ranghers is incomplete, they are lovely people & great Marshals.

  8. Col (R) Muhammad Azhar Khwaja says:

    It is a good anecdote but the Raangar Subedar could not have been that decent!!
    General Ayub Khan as Army Chief was visiting Lahore during 1954 when floods played havoc. The Army was employed on anti-boar operations when thousands of wild boars swarmed the city. It was a norm for the Army Chief to visit CMH during his tour of a cantonment. So he visited CMH Lahore and enquired from a Havildar what was the ailment to him. He said that he was wounded by a “Soor”. On this the Chief asked him are there any “Soor” around. On this the Havildar promptly replied “Sir, saara mulk sooran naal bharia hoia ay”. On this the Chief smiled and walked away.

  9. Romeo Tango says:

    Haha! Sir very nice. 🙂
    In Pak Army the interaction of officers and other ranks is the epitome of the collage of respect and discipline imbued in frankness and congenial atmosphere. For AC it is even much more since the crew integration in tank is the deciding factor of life and death. This very same integration diffuses from bottom to top through all levels and ranks.

  10. Brig (R) Babar Aziz Beg (1st SSC) says:

    I salute the bondage which our officers and men had within the real framework of discipline. Unfortunately I find a drift now. I wish it is not there!!

  11. Rissaldar Nisar was originally 24 Cavalry and later posted to 28 Cavalry. He was called “ROMMEL” by everyone and most people would not remember his real name!!!

  12. Maj (R) Rehmat Elahi (2nd SSC) says:

    You have nicely narrated the story in a beautiful manner.
    I admire the witty answer by the JCO not knowing the implication of what he said in innocence. This is a master piece of the day.

  13. Col Azmat Hayat Malik (Retd) says:

    Hahaha!! Very funny anecdote.

  14. Mir S. Z. Ahmed says:

    While surfing, came across this anecdote, enjoyed and had a LOL. Enjoyed reading the comments too.
    I am a retired senior citizen, oil and gas production professional, wishing you the best in all times.

  15. Col. Absar A. Minhas (Retd) says:

    Excellent .It was like this and it should be between the companions of Life and death no matter they are officers , JCOs ,NCOs or Jawans. That was the Army that we joined and served in . Is it the same or the Zero error syndrome has eaten up all the charm , all the Life and actual leadership . I wish not

  16. Lt Col (R) Qadeer Ahmad Ch (2nd SSC) says:

    A wonderful narration. In 30 years of Army service as Infantry officer, I experienced that armour guys are more liberal, broadminded and accommodative. Well done Maj Zuha. Pak Army Zindabad. Pakistan Paindabad.

  17. Major (R) Munir Ahmed ( 2nd SSC ) says:

    Dear Major Zuha Saeed,
    Thank you for sharing an amusing event. How nice, generous & broad minded our senior officers were. At the same time how frank & open minded were our other ranks. What a conducive working environment in which we all have roughed out a rigorous life with so much of ease & comfort. PAK ARMY- ZINDABAD.

  18. Maj (R) Zuha Saeed says:

    Thank you all who enjoyed this humorous anecdote. While we all read this, please keep in mind that in those days 2 Corps had five Divisions, including the famous 1st Armd Div, a few Indep Bdes, it was spread from Gujranwala to south of Bahawalpur. It was the most prestigious outfit of its times. The Comd was HAND PICKED by Gen Zia ul Haq himself.

    Risaldar Nisar ws NOBODY in that vast ocean of AUTHORITY, he was a near illiterate simple man from a small village called BAGAR PULL, near Bhawalanagar. But while the distance between him and his Corps Comd was a few million miles the FREQUENCY was the same. THEY COULD COMMUNICATE AND BE HEARD, both ways.

  19. Maj (R) Khalid Saeed Shah, Arty (2nd SSC) says:

    It reminds me of our weapon training JCO in PMA in 1971-72, a RAANGARH from some armour unit, he was a typical RAANGARH with KARRARI ZUBAAN. Once he was teaching us about G-3 rifle and its anti-tank capabilities. One of the Pl mates questioned that how effective could be the G-3 against a tank? He responded promptly with an answer typical of a RAANGARH, “Sahib, Tank ki awaaj sun kar …..% @ …..Yeh G-3 usska kaya muqabal karray gi.
    It’s a nice anecdote, many thanks for sharing.

  20. Brig Abdullah Dogar, USA says:

    Maj Zuha Saeed was the Senior Subaltern when I joined the Regiment. He is my first “Mentor,” and I took over the same Reconnaissance Troop that he ably led earlier. I had a great laugh, because I know both (the narrator and the lead character).

  21. Lt Col Naeem Ahmed Khan ( Retd ), 2nd SSC says:

    Zuha, Welcome to “Humour in Uniform” segment. Thoroughly enjoyed your anecdote. Thanks with a hope that we will have more from you.

  22. Maj Gen (R) Syed Ali Hamid, AC says:

    Enjoyed it the first time you told me this anecdote but enjoyed it much more now that I have the whole story……. will include it in the history of the Armored Corps that I am writing.

  23. Maj Gen (R) Parvez Akmal, Engrs (42 Long Course) says:

    Simply hilarious! Besides, ‘itni mirchoon wali nihari kay zikr say moonh mein paani bhar aaya hai’. 🙂 We all loved Field Mess environment.

  24. Maj (R) Munir Aslam, Sigs says:

    It was very very interesting, even my children and family enjoyed reading it, very well written.
    Can we have some more anecdotes like this?

  25. Lt Col (R) Muhammad Anwar Khan, Air Def (2nd SSC) says:

    Just superb. Well done, Nisar Sahib. I highly appreciate the nice attitude of the Corps Comd & the other crowd also, who really enjoyed it (LOL).

  26. Abbas Hayat says:

    Witty of him, Rangaars do have a tail light and a brakelight.

  27. Azam Gill (2nd SSC), France says:

    Well done, Major Zuha Saeed. My compliments on choosing such an illustrative anecdote. Could be the beginning of a book. And of course, the blunt forthrightness of Raangars is well known. Superb, fearless soldiers, witty to a fault. I wouldn’t be surprised if he had actually said something clearer than ‘tail-light’!

  28. Wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

  29. Col (R) Sohail Qureshi, Avn/EME, USA says:

    In the old days when first reporting to the unit young officers were ordered by the Commanding Officer to contact the SM, pitch a tent, eat in the Lungar and spend a few weeks with the jawans. The idea was for them to get to know the gutsy men like Risaldar Nisar Sahib. An enlightening episode.

  30. Zuha, It’s a real funny anecdote. Well done!! Please share more.

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