John H. Hall
Kotli’s a station on the Pakistan side
When you hear you’ve posted there, run and hide,
Because, fellow MILOB, you’re in for a ride!
It’s a long way from Paradise, Mate!
The fridge breaks down and the weather gets hot,
The “food” we get begins to rot,
They think life’s marvellous but really it’s not.
Life gets tedious In Kotli.
It’s a bit of a bastard to get out of bed
Just to hear f---all on the radio sched
About SNAFUs at ALPHA, and “OPS 1 on set”.
Life gets boring in Kotli.
The quarters are dirty and rather smelly,
Got no radio and even less telly,
The best I can get is Delhi Belly:
Enough to drive you dotty in Kotli.
The Nikial road is a bit of a twist,
A jeep over bank would never be missed,
I wouldn’t drive it when I was pissed!
It doesn’t “do” to get vertigo.
The snakes come out and the scorpions run,
The girls are remote and provide no fun,
It’s even too hot to sit in the sun.
Life gets frustrating in Kotli.
The mess havildar is round and fat,
Greasy like lard and more like a rat,
With the guts of a horse and the brains of a gnat,
Power corrupts, in Kotli,
The Commanders’ a gentleman through and through,
His daughter’s a lady and lonely too,
The BM’s OK takes a drink or two,
Some people are human after all,
The cook is lazy and the bearer’s dumb,
We don’t even get any issue rum,
And a ride in a jeep makes your bum go numb,
Life gets unfeeling in Kotli.
The Station’s refurbished with a wardrobe and bed,
But beer cans and buckets still hang overhead,
And the pisspot in the corner’s stained delicate red,
Life gets distasteful in Kotli.
The GSO3 is a croquet fan,
Beside him the DQ’s an “also ran”.
They spend all the time on the lawn that they can,
You take your fun where you can.
Bridge is played in the mess very late,
To lose at all is the BM’s pet hate,
But he’s lucky at cards at any rate,
It would break your heart in Kotli,
The road to Mangla takes nearly four hours,
(much longer of course if there’ve been any showers),
But there’s hamburgers and bowling and gardens and flowers,
Civilization is a good thing.
Goat’s head and Dahl are standard fare,
The cook takes opium and good khana is rare,
The Pathan bastard seldom takes care,
Please send me an old ration pack!
The eggs in the morning are greasy and cold,
Bread’s unobtainable and the milk is old,
Chupattis so stiff they won’t even fold,
Variety is the spice of life.
The grog disappears if you leave it out,
The coffee too an unwilling “shout”,
So it pays not to leave anything about,
The rats have only two legs here!
Bacon and ham we mustn’t eat,
But “kangaroo tail” is a common treat,
And Canadian “Bison” is pretty good meat,
We don’t want too many plates broken!
“Whiskey and brandy are very dear,
But you get it cheaply, so I hear,
Got me some! “Sorry, I only drink beer”.
Can’t stand a bludger, can you?
“You are a Major, so I see,
How old are you? “Thirty three.”
“I’II be a Brig then, just you watch me!”
He would make a good section commander!
Years of service count a lot.
Seniority too they know to the dot.
They’re much in love with such bullshit and rot.
What about ability, mate?
“How we won the war” is a common theme.
You can’t tell them it’s only a dream,
So much propaganda would make you scream.
If bullshit was brains they’d be geniuses.”
Written February 1967 by John H. Hall