CHENNAI: From a trained classical dancer turned army officer to a beauty queen deciding to flaunt military greens instead of chic clothes, there were several transitions that were noticed on Saturday.
While it can be tough for an outsider to connect Bharatanatyam with the Indian Army discipline, it was not so in the case for Lieutenant G Vaishali, one of the newly commissioned officers.
"You see, both require discipline and the desire for perfection. Having practised for more than 15 years, I got my focus from the disciplined approach to Bharatanatyam and used it to overcome any training exigencies," said a confident Vaishali, the only lady cadet from Tamil Nadu.
Having bested all other trainees, including her male peers in the sword drill, Vaishali stands as an example of the growing prowess of ‘lady cadets' at OTA. One of her tutors is Captain Divya Ajith Kumar, who led the first ever all women contingent at the Republic Day parade in 2015, besides being the first women to receive the ‘sword of honour' at the OTA in 2010.
Also passing out was Lieutenant Nikita A Nair, who bagged the Miss OTA award during her training. The award, though, is no surprise as Nikita is no stranger to fashion pageants. In 2013, she won the ‘May Queen Miss Pune' fashion pageant.
Nevertheless, Nikita decided to join the Army, as she felt there was immediate gratification. "Though the service is for 14 years (short service commission), I hope women personnel will soon be entitled for permanent commission," she said.
Others to have made a transition from diverse fields include Lieutenant Nisha HK, who was a software engineer working for Tata Consultancy Services, now commissioned into the electrical and mechanical corps. Perhaps, the day is not too far when other computer engineers will also decide to pursue their true calling.