There are men and women who dream of serving the nation… and then there are those who train for it. Walking an air warrior’s path is not an easy task. From training ground to the battlefield… every moment is filled with struggle that, only those with a sharp acumen, integrity and a strong will can survive. Every year, the Air Force Academy witnesses the successes and failures of outstanding young men and women as they strive to become officers worthy of the Indian Air Force. This is Indian Air Force Academy At the Air Force Academy, it has only been two days for Mudit in Stage 0 Pre Flying Training The level of difficulty is another level What we want to do with these cadets is that their mind and body are in unison Earning the blue uniform is not going to be easy. Priya in Stage 1 flying has cleared her preliminary tests and… …graduates to the simulator. they will go to the aircraft and fly their first sortie… …only after they have cleared a test on ground. Amogh in Stage 2 has completed ground training of flying and … …gets ready for his first dual sortie in a new aircraft. And Kartik is undergoing rigorous flying in Stage 2 to make up for lost time. (I thought this kid will not be able to fly again.) Kartik, Amogh, Priya and Mudit. Their dream of a career in the Indian Air Force … …hinges on their successfully completing the challenges that lay ahead…at the Air Force Academy. The sun isn’t even up but the Academy is up and running. The freshers, Stage 0 Cadets, fall in at the grounds for the morning outdoor training. Mudit’s physical toughening has begun. There are 20 different set of grueling exercises in a span of 2 hours without a minute’s break. Mudit needs to meet the high standards of training… or else he’ll be sent back home. Obviously I like outdoor activities, as well. But, here the level of difficulty is another level. once your body is subject to a rigorous of workout, your body will start behaving differently and your mind will start behaving differently. What we want to do with these cadets is that their mind and body are in unison. It is very difficult for us to make a cadet and candidate from unphysical standard to a physical standard. Whether its extremely cold or scorching hot , the outdoor training continues irrespective of the weather conditions; and for the cadets, irrespective of their gender. I was six years old when I chose this as my dream. I was overweight as a kid in school. So, I knew in order to pursue my dream I had to be fit. So, I started running, I started playing squash, I started playing tennis. And I made myself fit to the point that I get selected in the Air force academy on the basis of my sports background. I have prepared myself well enough and I hope I won’t get too intimidated and I will be able to perform to the best of my abilities. In 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, they will be the perfect cadets. After that we will just polish them up to graduate from the Academy Relentless training is what it will take for Mudit to undergo a successful transformation from a raw civilian to a cadet. It is tough. It is testing. From outdoor training to the next class, we have time of about 30 minutes. So, that time we have to come back from the stadium out here, and then go change, take bath and then go to the breakfast. The life of here is very fast. You might not have understood the value of 1 minute in civil life. But, you will understand here. If we have 1 minute, it means you have 60 seconds, which means you can at least do 2 activities in that. We don’t have much time to spare on our personal work, so we have to manage it out from somewhere Now I have my breakfast in only 2 or 3 minutes. While the cadets are busy nourishing themselves, Mudit is distracted. The men in blues walk in. It’s the uniform Mudit has a keen eye on. The freshers, stage 0 cadets are given 10 minutes to finish their breakfast, before they have to fall in and leave for academic classes. But wherever they go, the cadets cannot walk. we have standing orders, for juniors, that we cannot walk in the corridor. We have to run. The “run” order has to be followed by the freshers for the entire 6 months of this stage. The cadets cannot be found standing idly or even walking in the corridors. And if they do, they have to bear the consequences. The seniors introduce them to the concept of Ragda. terminology which is used is Ragda, is basically, it’s a colloquial word . which means physical toughening is done at flight cadet’s mess authorized one I got punished. And I know that punishment here is enjoyable but still, nobody wants to get punished. I had my share of punishment in my junior term. I missed on my haircut and I had to run 8kms with a rucksack and combat dress with 20 kgs on my shoulder. I just missed the timing by 2 or 3 odd minutes. So, when Murgi, you have to lower your bumsAnd then they asked us to get Murga and Murgi, both. So, when Murgi, you have to lower your bums and when Murga, you have to raise your bums. And then you have to do it on counting. One is down, two is up – Murga – Murgi. And when you start doing, you feel tremendous pain in your thigh. From that day till now I have never got late for any of the activity.