On a rather warm day the Defence Secretary, Harish Sarin, a very powerful civil servant, upon entering the Ministry’s conference room said to a Colonel sitting close to a window, “You there, open that window!”

Before the Colonel could get up came a sharp “Sit down” came from Manekshaw, who had also just entered from another door. Turning to the Secretary, he said, “Mr. Secretary, don’t you ever address one of my officers in that tone of voice. You may say, “Sam, would you please open that window, and I will open the window for you. That officer is a Colonel, and not ‘You there’.”

Harish Sarin mumbled something to the effect that he didn’t mean it that way, to which Sam replied, ”I don’t care how you meant it. I heard it & didn’t like it.”


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