The story behind a special historical convention.
At the way to the Dining Hall of NATIONAL DEFENCE ACADEMY Khadakwasla Pune, there is a set of table, with the chair leaned forward. This table is set for the Armed Forces Personnel who are Prisoners of War (POW) and forgotten. In the hope that they will get back one day (54 POW of the 1971 war have never got back to home). The Placard on the table says: “The table set is small, for one, exemplify the incapacity of one prisoner against his tyrant. The unaccompanied rose shown in a vase reminds us of the families and loved ones of our comrades-in-arms who keep their faith awaiting their come back.
The Red Ribbon tied so prestigiously on the vase is evocative of the red ribbon worn upon the lapel and breasts of thousands who bear witness to their inelastic determination to demand a proper reckoning of our missing. The candle is unlit; represent the up sloping reach of their not conquerable spirit. The slice of Lemon is on the bread plate, to remind us of the bitter fate.
There is salt on the bread plate – emblematic of the families’ tears as they wait. The Glass is transposed, they cannot toast with us tonight. The chair – it is vacant. They are not here. Remember! All of you who performed duties with them and called them comrades, who depended upon their might and aid, and relied upon them, for surely, they have not deserted you. Remember them until the day they get back to home.