Monthly Archives: October 2010

Bird Strike over Hoogly


After my father’s death I shifted my mother and my wife to Kolkata from Deoghar.    The accommodation I was allotted at Kolkata was tiny, but it was rather well situated in New Alipore.   I was then an instructor with 12(Bengal) Air Squadron NCC with my office in Jadavpore University Campus.   For flying with my cadets I had to go Bengal Flying Club which was then located in Barrackpore.    For those readers of mine who are unfamiliar with the geography of Kolkata, Jadavpore is a suburb in the south of Kolkata while Barrackpore is a township quite a way north of the city.   Between the office and the flying club I was kept quite busy.

Read the rest of this entry


A Small Incident with Big Lessons


I had just taken over the Air Force Station at Jamnagar as its Air Officer Commanding (AOC).   My wife Leena was still in Delhi tending to the children who could not shift as they were half way through their school/college term.   Jamnagar has one of the busiest air firing ranges of the country; flying units from all over the country send detachments to Jamnagar for an intensive camp of air to ground and air to air firing practice.   Soon after my arrival, a detachment from the Fighter Training Wing (FTW) Hakimpet arrived with their Polish made Iskra aircraft for their routine armament training.    For those readers who are not familiar with the structure of the Air Force let me explain that the FTW trains new young pilots into elements of fighter flying after they graduate from the Air Force Academy.   Such detachments from FTW to Jamnagar are routine affairs and take place normally twice a year.   All arrangements are pre-set.   The instructors from the FTW are normally familiar with Jamnagar and they do their own training without any interference form the station.   Jamnagar just has to provide the flying environment and the range firing facility.   I was therefore not bothered about the presence of a big bunch of very young pilots on my base. Read the rest of this entry

Remembering Kukke Suresh


Like last time, the telephone call came from my son Subir.   Like the last time, the news he conveyed was sad.     ‘Daadi Shastri has passed away’.  ‘Daadi Shastri’ for Subir meant the mother of Kukke Suresh and Grand mother of ‘Bubba’ Aishwaria.    She was in her nineties and ailing.   Such passing is inevitable but that does not make any such happening any less sad.   It also revives the memories of other such sad moments:  like the last time. Read the rest of this entry